Alexey Shved, the newest Timberwolf, remembers growing up in Russia without today's modern conveniences even though he's just 23.
That means no satellite television, no Internet.
His father was his coach, and Victor Shved brought home VHS tapes of NBA games that his young son watched.
"Since those days, I told my mom and dad that this was my wish, to play like the guys on TV," he said.
Now he will get his chance to do that in the NBA.
The Wolves on July 25 officially signed the 6-6 guard, who has played professionally in Russia since he was 17.
He played alongside 10-year NBA veteran Andrei Kirilenko -- another Russian player the Wolves signed -- last season for CSKA Moscow, and the two are teammates on the Russian national team that's playing in the London Olympics.
The Wolves envision Shved being able to play as many as three positions -- both guard spots as well as perhaps a little small forward if coach Rick Adelman experiments with a very small lineup.
Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said he considers Shved a "2-1," more shooting guard than point guard but a guy who can play both on a team that already has Ricky Rubio at point guard.
"That's where I saw him play primarily last September," Kahn said, referring to a European scouting trip. "He was playing more off the ball. But Rick really likes to have multiple ballhandlers on the floor, not only guys who can create for themselves but also create for others. And he was more than capable of doing that. I think obviously with Ricky, he'll be playing '2' here, but I believe he could be used in a number of ways."
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