When it’s media day, it usually means the excitement for the NBA season is peaking. It’s no different this year.
I looked over a couple of Timberwolves Media Day recap posts, namely from media day attendees William Bohl of A Wolf Among Wolves and John Meyer of Canis Hoopus, and gather a few thoughts from some of my favorite quotes of the day.
Link to Meyer’s post on CH: Here
Wolves GM Milt Newton on Ricky Rubio:
"“A lot has been made about Ricky and shooting the basketball. We want Ricky to take open shots. We don’t want Ricky to have to prove to someone that he is a better shooter. We want Ricky to be Ricky, the facilitator that he’s known to be – running our offense, defending, being a leader on the floor. But with regards to Ricky trying to prove to people that he’s a shooter, that shouldn’t be his role. His role is to lead our team, hit the open player, and when he has an open shot, have the confidence to knock it down.”"
Newton takes the words right out of my mouth here.
Rubio haters always bring up his jump shot or his poor shooting percentage. My argument has always been that Rubio doesn’t need to light up the points column for the Wolves to win. He produces just as many points with an assist as he does with a jump shot, unless I’m wrong (I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong).
He’s arguably a triple-double threat every time he steps onto the floor. With the amount of talent on this roster, Rubio’s playing style seems to be the perfect fit to help develop all that talent.
I’m not trying to say that Rubio should never develop a consistent jump shot, because that would obviously be a huge asset for him to have. But it shouldn’t be his number one concern moving forward. As Newton eludes to, his role is to lead the team, hit the open man, and if he has an open jump shot, knock it down with confidence. In that order, too.
Ricky Rubio on how his three-point shot is coming along:
"“Pretty good. I got 89/100 last night and that was my record, so pretty good. We’ll see in the game.”"
Take THAT, Rubio haters! For the record, I’m putting no stock into 100 threes in an empty gym with no defense. But, still, 89 out of 100 is pretty impressive.
Karl-Anthony Towns on when he knew Minneapolis was the best place for the start to his NBA career:
"“I mean, it was instantly. It’s a place I love. For me, being in such an area that resembles my personality so well, and being more of an inside type guy and not very out, it’s a place where so much love is built. That’s the biggest thing that made me love Minneapolis so much, the fact that I stepped in here and felt so much love. Not just towards me, but towards others. People are treating each other so well, with so much love and compassion. It definitely resonated towards me and was somewhere I wanted to be.”"
Let’s all take a moment and remember that Towns is still a 19-year-old kid. Yet, he has the charisma of a ten-year veteran in the NBA.
He’s already boasting about the “Minnesota nice” idea, or whatever people call it. He might genuinely mean these things, or he might just be manipulating the media and fans. Or, it could be a mixture of both.
Either way, this kid is acting like a true professional in every sense of the word. (Note: It’s weird for me to call him a “kid”, because he’s two months younger than me, but oh well.)
Shabazz Muhammad on what he worked on in the off-season:
"“I’ve been working on my outside jumper, my three point (shot) and my ball handling, because I really want to be able to switch over to playing the two. There’s not a lot of guys who can guard me at that position, especially going inside and out.”"
Wait, Shabazz at the TWO?! That would just be unfair. With his size and physicality, he’s right, there are very few two-guards in the NBA that would be able to guard him, especially in the post.
Speaking of that, Derek James over at Hardwood Paroxysm wrote a piece on Muhammad and his transition to the 2015 NBA season. In it, James writes that Muhammad is looking to add a right-handed post hook shot (Meyer also noted this in his piece). He has been very efficient with the left-handed post hook shot so far in his career, as shown in James’ piece. If he can add that right-handed hook, it would add to the already vast versatility that Muhammad brings to the Wolves.
For a full recap of Timberwolves media day, see Ben Beecken’s piece here.
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