Tag:Minnesota Timberwolves
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 12:54 pm

Rubio says Garnett talked up Minnesota to him

By Matt Moore 

Kevin Garnett left Minnesota without any of the acrimony that LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony faced. He was traded for what at the time looked like a quality set of assets, and said nothing but good things about the team during and afterwards. It's easy to call that lip service and to pin Garnett as some sort of double-talking traitor, but that's not the reality. And you don't have to ask him. You can ask Ricky Rubio

 Rubio spoke with the Minneapolis Star-Tribuneand revealed that KG was giving him a pep talk about Minnesota: 
The people are so nice. I talk with KG, too, and he talked to me great things about Minnesota. He said the crowd cheers very hard for the team. They love the sport. We have to fight to give them what they are waiting for us to do, to win.
via Rubio will be ready when called upon by Wolves | StarTribune.com.

This is why Garnett is still a hero in Minnesota when he returns. He could have torched Minnesota, but instead he's encouraging Rubio to invest in it, after Rubio has been lukewarm at best about the place (especially the weather -- insert temperature joke here). It's a sign of the positive feelings that Garnett still has for the team he spent so much of his career in. He'll likely end up entering the Hall a Celtic, but he'll always be welcome in Minnesota and continues to do right by the team. It's also great to see a player of his stature talking to a rookie in such a positive way. 

Rubio still comes off as concerned about the weather in the article, but he'll get over it. He's not going to be shoveling his driveway, he can have a driver in a hummer limo take him to and from the game, he can afford the nicest, warmest clothes possible. He's a big boy, he'll be fine. And by all accounts, when the season starts (if ever), the Timberwolves are ready to turn it around.

And KG will be happy for them.

Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:23 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 12:54 pm

Michael Beasley, PR firm part ways after 3 weeks

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley

Good news, everyone. We've located a marriage that ended faster than the sham perpetrated by Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley and the public relations firm he hired to help him navigate this crazy 21st century media landscape have apparently parted ways just three weeks into their relationship.

Back on Oct. 21, news broke that Beasley had hired S & S Associates to improve his image. On Wednesday, a representative for the the firm issued a terse statement saying that S & S Associates no longer represented Beasley, who first contracted its services on Oct. 10.

"Please be advised that S&S Associates is no longer affiliated with Michael Beasley," the statement read. "Please refer all inquiries to 'Shooter'."

Shooter's email address was listed as "unknown," although a contact phone number was included.

"We think that Michael is a great kid, and we're wishing the best for him, but he was just not a good fit for our firm," S & S Associates' Tonya Payton told CBSSports.com on Wednesday. "Michael is at the stage in his life and his career where he just needs to take a step back and reevaluate a lot of things in his life." 

In the three weeks since he hired the P.R. firm, Beasley threw an "All-Star" charity game in which all the All-Stars bailed out and said that the ongoing labor negotiations are "kind of retarded." But that was the petty stuff.

The real bombshell came when Beasley launched explosive lawsuits against his former agent, Joel Bell, and his former AAU coach, Curtis Malone, in which he and his mother admitted to receiving thousands of dollars of illegal benefits while he was in high school and college. The lawsuit is personal, too, as Malone reportedly served as a surrogate father to Beasley, allowing him to live with his family during his high school years.

2011 has been one thing after another for Beasley, who was busted with marijuana this summer and famously shoved a fan in the face during an exhibition game. Come to think of it: Hiring a P.R. firm was actually a really good idea. Oh well.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 6:19 pm

NBA fines Heat owner Arison $500K for tweets

Posted by Ben Gollivermicky-arison

You spoke out against the family. You threw your brothers under the bus. For that, you must pay.

Yahoo Sports reports that NBA commissioner David Stern has fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison $500,000 for violating the NBA's gag order for a series of Twitter messages he posted on Friday night. The Sun-Sentinel later confirmed the report.

The messages were posted on Arison's account - @MickyArison - in the hours after labor negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketballl Players Association broke down.

Arison responded to an angry fan who blamed him for being a "greedy pig" by saying that he was "barking at the wrong owner." He also said that owners "care alot" about the NBA's fans and laughed when asked for his opinion of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. 

Arison, the CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, deleted a number of messages, including the "barking" one, from his account shortly after posting them.

The Heat's owner was recently ranked No. 75 on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion. After he spent the summer of 2010 assembling a veritable dream team of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it's no wonder he might want to get the NBA's schedule started sooner rather than later.

The tweets likely drew such a hefty fine because they represented the first real public fissure in ownerships' position. By and large, the NBA's owners have issued very few comments on the state of negotiations and certainly no one had deviated from the league's message as drastically as Arison did. 

NBA legend Michael Jordan, currently the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, was reportedly fined $100,000 for his comments about the lockout in September. Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn was also reportedly fined for discussing multiple players during the lockout.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 6:06 pm

Money man: Beasley knew about illegal benefits

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley

"Yeah, it was dirty. But he knew it was dirty!"

That's what a Washington D.C. accountant has to say in response to a recent lawsuit filed by Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, who alleges that his former agent and AAU coach provided thousands of dollars in illegal benefits to Beasley and his mother before he entered the NBA.

Last week, we noted reports that Beasley was suing agent Joel Bell and coach Curtis Malone, accusing them of conspiring to represent him while he was still a teenager and providing his mother with cash and other favors, including moving her to Kansas so that she could be near him during his single season at Kansas State University.

Shortly thereafter, CBSSports.com's Wildcats RapidReports noted that a Kansas newspaper reported that George Holloway, a Washington, D.C. accountant, provided $11,200 to Fatima Smith, Beasley's mother, to cover her rent while she was in Kansas.

In a subsequent interview with the Washington Post, Holloway admits to being the money man but says that Beasley knew what was happening the whole time.
“I was just trying to be helpful,” Holloway said in a telephone interview. “They both couldn’t afford it. . . .In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t done a thing. But I didn’t have anything to gain from it.” 

“Beasley knew everything,” Holloway said. “His mother knew everything.”

“I’ve helped tons of kids, many of which never played college [basketball] or anything beyond high school, that I met through the D.C. Assault program,” Holloway said. “It was a give-back for me.”
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that Malone's attorney denies that his client set up the arrangement between Holloway and Smith. Holloway is on board with that, saying his financial relationship with Beasley's mother did not involve either Bell or Malone.
“The whole thing over this Beasley-Joel Bell thing, I don’t like either side of the argument,” Holloway said. “But I will tell you this: The truth of the matter is, as it relates to me, Fatima approached me directly. Michael approached me directly. And neither Joel, nor Curtis, had anything to do with any of it.”
Clearly, Holloway is prepared to take the fall for everything. And that makes sense. Of all the key players, he has the least to lose. He isn't an agent who wants to continue being an agent, he isn't an AAU coach that wants to continue to be an AAU coach, he isn't an NBA player whose shaky reputation is being put even further into question and he isn't Kansas State University, a program that could be subject to harsh NCAA sanctions given that everyone seems to agree that illegal benefits were given to Beasley's family. Assuming that Holloway only broke NCAA rules and not any laws, he should be able to continue life as an accountant once this all blows over. 

Related: Michael Beasley thinks NBA lockout negotiations are "kind of retarded"

Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 11:53 am

Video: Under Armour 'Are you from Here?' campaign

By Matt Moore

Under Armour has launched its first real campaign with its new stable of basketball players including Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams. The concept is built around "Are you from Here?" with "Here" being that mystical place where competition is all that matters, dribbling is poetry, and the journey is more important than the destination. "Here" is also code word for "getting your face kicked in in practice so you can be the best you can be." The ad features the new stable (Williams, Walker, along with signature athlete Brandon Jennings, and without Greivis Vasquez) in a series of grueling practice sessions in various training centers. 

It's not bad, even if it's low on brand exposure for the athletes themselves. Maybe that will come with subsequent spots. It's not bone chilling, but it got a little frosty.  

Here's the ad, via Dime. 

Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:02 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 11:29 pm

Michael Beasley sues former agent, AAU coach

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley

Here's a lawsuit that just might substantiate all of your worst fears about the ugly behind-the-scenes behavior that stains elite amateur basketball.

The Washington Post reports that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley is suing his former agent and his former AAU coach for conspiring to create a situation in which they could represent him once he became a professional player. The lawsuit alleges that the agent, Joel Bell, and the coach, Curtis Malone, first sank their hooks into Beasley when he was 14 years old.  

The lawsuit comes less than a year after Bell sued Beasley for wrongful termination and breach-of-contract.

Beasley's allegations in this countersuit are lengthy and complicated.

To boil it down: The Post reports that Beasley and his mother allege that Bell helped cover the costs of Beasley's participation in a high-profile AAU team, including transportation, lodging, other family expenses and $2,500 in cash. The lawsuit also reportedly alleges that in return for that help the agent and coach took steps to ensure that Beasley would sign with Bell once he turned pro after one season at Kansas State, including paying for his mother's rent and car payment after she moved to Kansas to be near Beasley.

The paper reports that Bell and Malone either declined comment or did not return messages.

Providing direct or indirect compensation to high school players with the expectation of representing them in the future is generally believed to be a common practice among agents and wannabe agents but rarely are details made public because it opens up a Pandora's box of complications.

There is the possibility for NCAA sanctions for programs who signed the player, signed other players from the same AAU program or signed other players who are eventually represented by the same agent. There's the bad press that will hit the player and his family for taking illegal gifts that they "know were wrong." There's the red flag in NBA circles that pops up on that player when it comes to assessing his decision-making and character. There's the potential for major damages or, maybe in a worst case scenario, jail time for agents who act improperly. There's the chance that future basketball players won't want to have anything to do with a coach whose program has been tainted. 

That Beasley is pursuing legal action, then, is fairly remarkable given all of these external forces working against him and his mother exposing their version of the truth. The big question: Will the ordeal be worth it?

For further analysis, Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com has you covered.
Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 5:41 pm

Beasley: NBA negotiations are 'kind of retarded'

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley would like to kindly submit an entry for consideration into the the pantheon of memorable player slogans to emerge from the ongoing NBA lockout.

To recap, we've got "How u" by Roger Mason, "Let us play" by Derek Fisher, "Love the game" by Jordan Brand and "Ready to fold" by JaVale McGee.

Beasley's submission: "Kind of retarded." Oh boy.

Yes, that's how the problematic chucker chose to describe the current state of negotiations at a charity baskedball game in Oklahoma City, reports the Associated Press.
"Fighting over 3 percent, that’s kind of retarded to me,” said Michael Beasley, who scored a game-high 56 points. “But it is what is. We’ll come to an agreement.”

“The quicker we can get a deal done, the better,” he added. “Like I’ve been saying before, the main ones suffering are our fans.”

Let's just put aside the obvious insensitivity and political incorrectness to focus on his larger point, whatever that might be. Seriously, I'm not sure I've ever heard someone refer to a billion dollars and the structure which will govern their livelihood for the duration of the career so dismissively. But, hey, Be Easy, right?

Frustration is one thing, and everyone involved is feeling frustrated, but this is the wrong way to express it. Whether he realizes it or not -- probably not -- Beasley's "I don't care about the details, let's just get it done" attitude is exactly the sentiment the NBA owners are banking on. That's music to their system redesigning ears.

Uninformed apathy and blind faith in a resolution are major reasons the owners can move forward with a plan to cancel the early portion of the season, costing players paychecks and increasing the urgency factor. Pretty soon, "We'll come to an agreement" will transform into "We need to come to an agreement!" and that will morph into "SERIOUSLY, GUYS, WE NEED AN AGREEMENT" and before you know it the players union leadership is catching real pressure from two sides. 

We shouldn't expect anything less from Beasley, though, as his marijuana bust, face mushing of a fan and bait-and-switch All-Star Classic reminded us this summer that he lives in his own universe.

In a perfect twist, SoleCollector.com reported Tuesday that Beasley can't even keep a shoe deal, getting dumped by adidas recently. In light of that, maybe it would be best for Beasley to let Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher handle the heavy lifting from here on out. 

Related: Miami Heat forward LeBron James calls a reporter's question "retarded" during the NBA playoffs.
Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 7:57 pm

Everyone bailed on Michael Beasley's charity game

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley

There have been a lot of sad stories during the NBA lockout, but this rivals them all.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, he of the marijuana arrest and fan face mush, decided to organize a charity basketball game in Minnesota. Great idea! He invited tons of big name players, including NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant and All-Star Kevin Love. He even called it the "All-Star Classic" and organizers reportedly charged up to $300 for a ticket.

Two problems. None of the good players showed up. And not many fans showed up.

The Star-Tribune reported that everyone who is actually good that was scheduled in the game just no-showed.

Organizers originally priced tickets at between $60 and $300, then changed them to $40 general admission, $100 for VIP reserve and $300 for court seats when it became clear Durant, Love, [John] Wall and No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams wouldn't play.

The paper also reported that organizers estimated the attendance at 1,200. The Associated Press, though, pegged the number at "about 600 to 700."

So who was left to play in this "All-Star Classic?" Exactly zero All-Stars of course. The seven NBA participants, according to the AP, were Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Anthony Randolph, Wayne Ellington, Lazar Hayward, Anthony Tolliver and Dorell Wright. Wright can actually play, Beasley and Johnson both started a majority of games for the 17-win Timberwolves last season, but the rest are fringe NBA players. Potential D-League All-Stars, sure, but that's about it. And, together, not even enough players for a full 5-on-5 NBA experience.

Paying to see Kevin Durant and getting to see Wayne Ellington instead would have gone down as the worst kind of bait-and-switch imaginable, but thankfully the proceeds went to worthy local charities. 

Beasley's All-Star Classic winds up serving as a tidy symbol of his own NBA trajectory. Launched with the promise of big things as the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Eventually revealed to be something totally different and, ultimately, disappointing.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com