Simons Says - Feb. 7, 2013

Players weren’t sugarcoating this one after it was finished. Another 48 minutes. After it was all played out, it was another tough night at the office for the Wolves as they battled the San Antonio Spurs. A loss that dropped the home team to 10-games under 500 and work to do to reach their post-season goal.

There was significant buzz heading into this one. The Commish, David Stern, was in town to talk business with civic leaders. The Wolves big man, Kevin Love, was back on the bench (if not in street clothes) to cheer on his mates after rehabbing in New York.

There were bright spots on the court too. The return of Ricky Rubio is progressing nicely as the point guard scored 9-points, dished out 11 assists and had four rebounds. In fact, Rubio tossed five assists in the Spurs game's first seven minutes; that effort followed up a 10-assist fourth quarter Monday night vs. Portland (tied a team record for assists in a quarter by a single player). Rubio is now averaging just under 11 points and ten assists his last six games.

Derrick Williams contributed 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic notched his eighth 20-point/10-rebound effort of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He finished 11-of-12 from the line against the Spurs. On the glass, the Wolves did it again by rebounding SAS by 49-41. Remember, Minnesota came in getting outrebounded in 12 of its past 15 games after holding the edge in 16 of previous 18.

On the horizon, the Atlantic division leading New York Knicks with a record of 31-16. On hand to make that TV call, is the Wolves newest team member, broadcaster Dave Benz.

Benz is my guest this week on GameON!TV. His background is full of travel and newsrooms, sports events and teams. Benz is also carrying the card that shows off his success. He is passionate about his craft.

It all started for the young DB well before his graduation at Oswego State University in NY. Dave tells me his 20-plus years in broadcasting is a reflection of what he dreamed of doing as a kid. His resume is impressive with TV and radio play-by-play from FOX college basketball from the Mountain West, Pac-12, Big-12, WCC, and Big West and Sun Belt conferences. Dave has also hosted Major League Baseball Cactus League games, Arena Football League and recently DB was the radio “Voice of the Sabercats” for San Jose’s AFL team.

Dave and I were talking about Super Bowl XLVII with Baltimore winning and even though he was thousands of miles away, DB was watching closely. Benz took the Wolves job and in the process, left San Francisco after hosting, anchoring and reporting the Giants 2010 World Series title and the 49ers run to the NFC Championship game as a pre and postgame show host.

Benz loves it here. “Our schedule is so crazy that I haven’t been able to enjoy many of the things that Minnesotans might take for granted, the outdoors, the lakes and the great lifestyle. My family will truly get into it when the Wolves season ends and spring is here in full swing”.

Benz had no reservations about leaving the Bay Area to come to the Twin Cities. “It was a no brainer. I’ve always dreamed about a play by play role with an NBA team. This is great. Yes, we’re struggling a little bit on the court but considering all the injuries this team has endured this season, they are holding on well. There is a lot of basketball to be played”.

I love his style, his on air work with longtime Wolves guy Jim Peterson and his passion for his job. You will love the interview on this week’s show too. DB told me “It has been my lifelong dream to be an NBA play-by-play announcer and I don’t consider this work. This is a dream come true”.

A big welcome to Dave, his wife Sacha and DB’s pride and joy, three year old Brendan.

Schedule set for Lynx: 

Good to see that the 2012 Western Conference Champion Minnesota Lynx will kick off their 15th anniversary season in the WNBA at home against Connecticut on Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. The 2013 WNBA campaign includes 34 regular-season games, dating from May 24 and Sept. 14. This year’s All-Star Game will be held in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday, July 27. The Lynx will play Western Conference teams Los Angeles (three times on the road, twice at home) and
Phoenix (three times at home, twice on the road) five times this season, while facing off with San Antonio, Seattle and Tulsa four times each, twice at home and twice on the road. Minnesota will face all six Eastern Conference teams twice, once at home and once on the road. The 2013 Lynx campaign also includes two nationally broadcast home games on July 9 vs. Atlanta and Aug. 24 vs. Indiana.

Happy Birthday Crunch!

My daughter Annie loves Ricky Rubio and Twins All Star Joe Mauer. But a VIW (Very Important Wolve) is Crunch and to the big furry fellow, a Happy birthday! Crunch will celebrate his 24th birthday Friday when the Wolves take on the New York Knicks at Target Center.

Joining in the fun are Crunch's local mascot friends, including TC Bear from the Twins, the Vikings' Viktor and Prowl from the Lynx.

See you on TV

Catch your Wolves on this Sunday’s GameON! this week!! You don’t want to miss the Emmy nominated GameON! this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 at 10:30AM. Our special guests include former Gophers standout & now rapper Lawrence “Mac Irv” McKenzie and friend Lil’ Crazed, former Vikings LB E.J. Henderson, Boxing belt holder “Golden” Caleb Truax and fight specialist Tony “Tony Time” Grygelko and Taste of the NFL’s Wayne Kostroski. GameON! originates from our new home, across the street from Target Center at Kieran’s Irish Pub and allGameON! shows are broadcast in High Definition and can be found on iTunes, on 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 tapings at Kieran’s Irish Pub and its sister locations. GameON! offers in-depth interviews with the top players, great food, sports newsmakers and we get you inside your favorite teams (including the Wolves). You can friend 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

Keep your GameON! See you soon!

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