Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup: D-Lo attends staff meeting and more

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 12: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 12: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

This edition of the Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup highlights what D-Lo has been up to, plus thoughts on the job Gersson Rosas is doing.

We’re now at something like 11 weeks of no Minnesota Timberwolves basketball as part of the NBA’s hiatus, but who’s counting?

The Wolves have been in the news quite a bit lately related to Dr. Robby Sikka’s spearheading of a league-wide initiative to learn more about the coronavirus and study the possible presence of antibodies in employees. We touched on that in this space the other day, among other things.

Now, in much more light-hearted and basketball-related news, D’Angelo Russell is out here crashing staff meetings.

The Timberwolves are holding bi-weekly all-staff meetings with the business side of the organization, and have had guests pop-in in the past that included head coach Ryan Saunders and Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeves.

This time around, it just so happened to be the Wolves’ star point guard.

This is a really cool thing the Wolves are doing for their employees, and good on Russell to take a few moments to jump in and answer questions from a bunch of staff members he may not otherwise interact with.

Elsewhere, the Star Tribune’s Chris Hine put together a quick mailbag answering fan questions. Among them was a query related to Gersson Rosas’ job so far as president of basketball operations, now that we’ve just passed the 12-month mark.

Hine was judicious in his response but gave an interesting answer related to the culture that Rosas is building. Here’s a small piece of his response:

"Rosas also said he was going to try and build a familial culture around the Wolves, and I get where fans can be skeptical about that kind of corporate speak. But something happened during the season I think showed Rosas has built the kind of atmosphere around the team he envisioned. It came just after the frantic trade deadline when the Wolves had dealt Robert Covington to the Rockets. Covington was back in town getting things to move to Houston, and he decided to come to the Wolves game that night – and he sat next to Rosas. How often does that happen in any professional sport? A player who was just traded shows back up to watch his old team play just a few days after the trade?"

It’s fair for fans to have some skepticism regarding just how too-good-to-be-true Rosas’ public comments about building a family-like culture and a place where guys can grow together. He turned over 13 of the 15 sports on the roster in just 10 months, after all.

That said, it’s also impossible to ignore just how much happier the guys on the team appear to be versus the feeling surrounding the organization just over a year ago.

It’s also entirely true that happiness and cohesion do not directly correlate to wins, but having a guard-big combination of two guys who were All-Stars at the age of 22 doesn’t hurt the upward trajectory, either.

Of course, time will only tell if the new culture is helping the Wolves transform themselves from a bottom-feeder to a playoff contender in a matter of months. Even if the current season resumes for a handful of games, we won’t be able to have a full sense of the roster’s improvement until sometime in the middle of the 2020-21 campaign.

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For the time being, however, it’s perfectly fine to acknowledge the progress that Rosas and Co. have made to this point. The question is, what happens next?