Simons Says - Dec. 5, 2013

Mexico City is a bit of road trip from Minneapolis. The postponement of the Wolves-Spurs “home” game caught a few off guard and left so many more in confusion. A fire “what”? They called the game because of smoke? Did they really go all that way and NOT play?!

When the NBA scheduling pros sit down and grind out these plans, it all looks so good on paper. It’ll be festive! We’ll sell out the 21,000 seats and create even more hay in that developing NBA market. The teams will enjoy and get a giant audience to showcase their work.

It didn’t go as planned. In fact, while much of the social media grumbling zeroed in on the game at hand and its postponement, I was left hoping everyone was OK in the craziness that ensued. You see, there were a number of gatherings with hundreds of people including Minnesota fans and team executives. In those situations, with a stadium evacuation and a quickly changing emergency, the last thing we should be mulling over is the game. It’ll get played. It was all the people.

The NBA is not alone when it comes to taking these Outer Domestic games very seriously. So much can go wrong. You ask the team execs, when it comes to games like the Mexico City event, planning and then executing are job one. So, when things like this postponement happen, it makes it even harder to turn the key on future games.

When the Vikings ventured to London to host the Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of September, that had been in development for more than a year. Dozens of Vikings officials made several trips across the pond to shore up details, meet and plan and work to pull off a flawless event. It takes work. It takes good “fate,” too. NO luck involved. It’s work and execution. It’s finishing. And even though you hear Wolves coach Rick Adelman quoted as saying that he’s not a big fan of the game, the travel and the hullabaloo that goes into the Mexico City showcase, his colleagues at the Wolves and NBA are deeply disappointed.

When it works, when there are no incidents and the team plays well and wins (see Vikings over Pittsburgh at Wembley), smiles can be seen everywhere. All the work, the planning and the execution paid off. We’re sorry to see it didn’t come off but I can tell you, after covering events that went tragically wrong, I’m glad no one was seriously hurt and everyone is back home safely.

The Wolves have been busy of late. That’s allowed the SimonsSays mailbag to grow a bit (much like the writer’s waistline at Thanksgiving). So let’s tackle a few of the notes.

Peter in Fridley:

I like your GameON! show and miss you on the news. You do all this Wolves coverage but I don’t see many players on the show. Why’s that? Keep up the good work…and keep YOUR Game on. Peter, love the note…and thanks for using our favorite phrase to wrap it all up. Your question is simple. We showcase the Wolves on every show but with our show taping on Monday’s, it’s been tough. You see the Wolves have either played or travelled on our taping night. After Vikings season wraps, you’ll see plenty of Wolves visit the show. Promise. And YOU keep your GameON! thanks for watching and being in touch.

Kevin in Rogers:

What the heck happened to Luke Ridnour? I seem to remember you liked him when other sports guys didn’t care for him. True? Kevin, good memory. Yes…I’m a Luke fan. He’s just back on the court in Milwaukee after dealing with an injury. Tough as nails. Played hurt last season when everyone else was falling to injury. B-t-w, I started covering Luke when he played HS ball in Washington State. His college play at Oregon was good enough to get him picked in the first round by the then-Seattle Super Sonics. Good dude. Cindy in Shakopee:

Nice of you to say hi when I said hello at the Wolves-Denver game the night before Thanksgiving. My son is a fan of your show and always is bothering you on Facebook (thanks for your kind responses to him). I have a question. We had so much fun but it seemed the big part of the game, the team playing well, didn’t happen. This isn’t the first time either. Should there be concern? Thanks and keep up the good work.

Ms. Cindy, thanks for the great note and nice to meet your team at the game. You bring up a great point and one not lost on the Wolves. Playoff teams, which are what the Wolves plan to be, have to win at home. You know, protect the home turf. They are sputtering a bit and will work hard to make a visit to Minnesota just miserable for the opposition. Yeh, that pre-Turkey day game was a bit rough for fans but it’s all good.

Again, here’s hoping your Holidays are filled with joy and kindness. Wherever you might be, hoping only the best for you and your family. And as you dial your basketball radar into this month of December, keep an eye on this vital stretch of games. The Wolves need to define themselves this month. And to team Adelman, keep your GameON!


Help someone stay warm:

A few days remain to help one of our fellow Minnesotans in this cold time of year. All Star Kevin Love continues his Coat Drive! Love is partnered with The Salvation Army to gather coats to help those in need this winter. It’s started and will end December 18 as Love invites all fans to bring new and gently used coats to the Target Center Box Office. Love will personally deliver all donations to The Salvation Army on Dec. 17, and remind fans that there is one more day to contribute to the coat drive.

"Cold weather is here and many people are in need of winter coats," Love said. "With the support of The Salvation Army and Wolves fans, we can make a difference again this winter for those in need."

Donate and Love has purchased tickets to the Timberwolves' Jan. 1 game vs. the New Orleans Pelicans and the Jan. 8 game vs. the Phoenix Suns. Fans will receive a pair of tickets to one of these games for each coat they donate (limit four tickets per family on a first come, first served basis while supplies last).

Vote now and often:

The NBA’s All-Star Balloting is underway! Timberwolves starters Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio highlight Wolves representatives on the ballot as fans worldwide have the opportunity to vote for their favorite players as starters for the 63rd NBA All-Star Game.

This is the second straight year that fans can vote for their favorite player via social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Twitter voting allows fans to tweet a vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the All-Star balloting period. Kinda’ makes it feel like a Chicago election. Kidding!!

SimonsSays on TV/PODcast

You can now get SimonsSays in new PODcast form with insight/input from fans just like you and exclusive player interviews! Keep an eye out for SimonsSays PODcast at each and every week. And there is always a Wolves update on my TV show, GameON! Don’t miss an episode of the multi-Emmy nominated GameON! at 10am this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 and throughout the weekend regionally on MidCo Sports Net.

GameON! is powered by Taste of the NFL & Budweiser and is broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes, on demand via our new GameON! App (free and available for Apple/Android) and online at GameON! allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal, to meet your favorite players and fellow fans at our weekly taping location Uptown at Bar Abilene. GameON! offers in-depth interviews with the top players, great food, sports newsmakers and we get you inside your favorite teams (including the Wolves). We’d love for you to “like” us on Facebook at GameOnTvMN. Drop me a note, GameON! is also seen in North & South Dakota and Western Minnesota on MidCo SportsNet several times a weekend. We reserve the right to use your e-mails here in SimonsSays at

And last but not least, please catch Rod throughout the day on 96.3 KTWIN-FM. Rod keeps you inside the team with the KTWIN 60SecondSportsUpdate & the signature Prep Playbook which can also be found at

As we have for years, we talk Wolves. Every day. High’s & lows. We’re there because we are fans, just like you! Keep your GameON! See you soon!

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at