Alexey Shved won’t be with the Wolves summer league squad, but he practiced with them before they left — which is more than you would have expected from Shved if you saw the beating he took the second two-thirds of last season. I don’t think I would have been surprised to hear he lost himself on a Caribbean island for two months before coming back to realize he needed to hit the weights or run on those beaches.
Anyway, nice quotes from 2nd-year NBA roadkill from the local 1500 four-letter…
MINNEAPOLIS — By the time his rookie season had finally reached a close in April, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved was worn out to the point that he was desperate for a break.
But three months later, Shved, who is in Minneapolis for the week to work out at the Wolves’ practice facility, has adopted a noticeably rejuvenated tone.
“After the last game I was just thinking about packing my bags and going back to Russia, to Moscow,” Shved said. “After two or three weeks you start missing basketball … How you can live without basketball, I do not know. Right now, I feel good and I’m for ready for everything.”
Shved practiced Wednesday with the Wolves’ Summer League squad, which has three days to prep before heading to Las Vegas for a week-long slate of games. Shved, who is not on the roster for Vegas, plans to stay in the Twin Cities through next week. He is currently preparing for the EuroBasket championships in Slovenia, where he will play for the Russian national team.
Wolves assistant coach David Adelman, who is serving as the head coach of the Summer League team, noted that Shved looked “happy to be playing again.”
“I don’t blame him for dragging (at the end of last season). That was a wild season for him,” Adelman said. “We had him playing 40 minutes. We had him handling the ball 38 of those 40 minutes, guarding somebody else’s two-guard. It’s good to see him back. And with the people that we added, he’s going to fit right in.”
Shved’s heavy workload in his first season stateside yielded mix results, but he helped to fill holes for the oft-injured team, delivering an average of 8.6 points and 3.7 assists in 72 games.
Next season could be drastically different for Shved, partly because of the likely absence of one particular teammate.
NBA veteran and fellow countryman Andrei Kirilenko served as Shved’s ever-present friend and mentor last season, helping the 24-year-old adapt to live in an unfamiliar country. But Kirilenko, who is an unrestricted free agent, doesn’t appear to have given any indication that a return to Minnesota will happen.
Shved has kept in touch with Kirilenko in the offseason, but said Kirilenko hasn’t talked much about his playing situation, besides noting that he “wants something different.”
There was a tinge of sadness in Shved’s eyes when he discussed Kirilenko’s separation from the team, but responded adamantly about where he stands with the Wolves.
“Andre is my good friend and we always stayed together everywhere,” Shved said. “For sure I’d be happy if he comes back, but I’m staying here. This is my team. I want to play here.”