The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a newsworthy past couple of weeks due to their lengthy list of prominent players on the COVID-19 health and safety protocols list, but a former player and coach are both in the news this week.
Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup: Former Wolves in the news
The most noteworthy piece of news regarding a former Wolves player or coach is an unfortunate one: two-time former Wolf Ricky Rubio has suffered another torn ACL.
It was in March of 2012 that Rubio was running the point for the Wolves with Kevin Love in the frontcourt when the dynamic guard banged knees with Kobe Bryant in crunchtime of a close game at Target Center. Rubio tore the ACL in his left knee on that night, which was the first step in what had been an encouraging Wolves campaign to that point spiraling downward.
The rest of the Rubio-Love era and Rick Adelman’s coaching tenure in Minnesota would never be the same after that moment of severe misfortune.
Now, Rubio and Love are starring again for a franchise that is exceeding expectations, this time for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Earlier this week, Rubio’s right foot slipped out from under him and he planted his left foot awkwardly, leading to his knee buckling.
It’s clear that Rubio immediately knew what had taken place, and it’s an extremely hard scene to watch — particularly for Wolves fans and Ricky’s most ardent supporters.
Rubio will miss the rest of this season, of course, and presumably much if not all of 2022-23. Making matters more complicated is his contract status; Rubio will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. For a 31-year-old point guard who was following up arguably the worst season in his career with an impressive campaign in Cleveland, the timing couldn’t be much worse.
Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic had a great write-up on the injury and the ups and downs of the past year-plus for Rubio that is a must-read for Wolves fans (subscription required).
Elsewhere, the Denver Nuggets announced that head coach Mike Malone has entered health and safety protocols. That means that former Wolves assistant David Adelman, who is also the son of former head coach Rick Adelman, will be taking the reigns.
It’s a great opportunity for an assistant who has long been thought of as an up-and-coming coach in the league, and it will be fun to see how he performs in the coming days.