Simons Says - March 21, 2013












It’s been a great week for me in the land of the never ending winter. A 1-on-1 with the team Prez, saying goodbye to one of the team’s out of sight but never out of mind MVP’s and catching a game that didn’t mean much but said plenty.

First, the game. As I write, there are 18 games remaining. The Wolves tangle in Sacramento and then have some formidable opponents ahead including the LA Lakers, OKC, Utah and KG’s return with the Celtics on April 1. I was pleased to see the team step up and win a game they were supposed to win against the Hornets-soon-to-be-Pelicans this week.

Several things stood out. In the two-point win, it was the Wolves first “W” in a one-possession game since beating Denver 108-105 on Dec. 12. They shot 56 percent from the floor and if you’ve followed them this season, that’s a sweet number and one tough to reach. By the way, the last time the Wolves shot that well was against New Orleans on Super Bowl XLVII weekend Feb. 2 when they shot 58 percent.

Give it up for four players. Making the return to the lineup after missing numerous games to injury, Andrei Kirilenko with standout defense in the final minutes. Also back, Nikola Pekovic dropped 13-points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. Big Pek likes playing these guys as he scored a career-high 31 points on 14-of-18 shooting in the teams' first meeting this season back in December. Shouting out to D-Will too….Derrick Williams reached double figures for the 13th consecutive game (career-long stretch) with a career-high 28 points. No. 7 is now averaging 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds over the last 19 games. And last but not least, Ricky Rubio—16 points, two rebounds and six assists. He came into the game averaging 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.8 assists over the last four games. Eighteen games. Give the final few a nice run.

Second, the Prez. I wouldn’t have blamed Chris Wright one bit if he’d invoked the “Adelman Angle “and told me that “I’m not talking about injuries anymore. No more.”

No, the Prez was again delightful and insightful. That’s been a tough job, his has. Shepparding teams with so much talent and promise at times and have the seasons turn south. Then guiding an off-court-staff that needs winning basketball to achieve optimum results. Wright is upbeat and confident in the Wolves of the future.

In the interview you’ll be able to see on this week’s GameON! (Sunday at 10 a.m. on MY29), President Wright admits that the injury plagued season has been a stunner for everyone at team HQ in Target Center. “There are so many reasons for basketball fans to stay with the team and come out to games. It starts with our core that remains one of the best in basketball. And yes, that’s Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love.”

Wright is, well…right. To me, Rubio’s star has been shining very brightly during the injury-run. He’s playing to win and showing fans that he’s not giving up.

So many players do that in the face of difficulties like the Wolves have faced this season. Not Rubio. Stud. And to President Wright, that “hope” and fiery attitude offered up by Rubio is the single reason becoming a season ticket member or staying in the “pack” is worth the investment.

Delighted to have President Wright with us.

And goodbyes. It’s been tough for team staffers this week as they’ve said good luck and see you later to Amy Peterson.

Loved by all who meet her, Amy is heading to the Valley of the Sun and will be married soon. It would take something as life changing as marriage to pull the former basketball player away from the job she loved and made look easy.

Amy was a Wolves coach’s right arm and worked closely with every player who came through that lockerroom. Amy is loyal, confident and charming beyond words.

It’s always nice to see good things happen to great people and that’s what’s happening here with Ms. Amy P. Being one of those guys who can remember every step he took on his wedding day now more than 14-years ago, she is excited for the change and the road ahead. THAT is what it’s all about. The black arm bands we’re all wearing are for you. Missing Amy P in Minny.

I love dipping into the SimonsSays mailbag and today is no different: This from Ben in Chanhassen: Hey Rod! Love your show and looking forward to hearing you on the radio more (even though I’m a bigger basketball fan than baseball). Hey, who’s the best NBA team in your mind right now and what did you predict as the season started? I’ll take my answer off air. Ha-ha, a radio joke! Anyway, thanks and keep up the good work.

Ben, I got it! I actually laughed too. I appreciate the time you took to drop me the note. Right now, I have to say we’re going to see a Finals rematch with OKC and Miami. Watching Miami win night after night, with teams getting big leads and the Heat rallying, it’s a head turner.

At the seasons start, I was drinking the Laker Kool-Aid. You know newcomers Nash and Howard, Kobe and crew. But in the West, the Finals ticket will run through OKC and perhaps San Antonio. The Clippers got game but not a long distance engine to get them past either of those two. In the East it’s one, Miami.

Eighteen games left. Watch the way this team builds for next season. Sometimes a little hope goes a long way. Keep your GameON!

Get Closer

It was great to be back on the TV broadcast to talk a great deal about “Get Closer.” This is the opportunity/promise that the Timberwolves Basketball Club provides its season ticket members and allows members get closer to the action on court than any other professional sport. It truly differentiates the organization from all others. Wolves season ticket members get closer to the team and its players through benefits only available to them. To this end, the Minnesota Timberwolves have launched their “Get Closer” season ticket membership campaign and you can save big money on tickets.

Check out the new Pekovic/Rubio commercials that supports the new “Get Closer” campaign. Other players in the television campaign include: Andrei Kirilenko and Greg Stiemsma and more ads will debut later this month.

We are talking membership with the Timberwolves from 43 Target Center home games to a 365-day relationship with benefits throughout the calendar year. With the membership benefits, affordable pricing and a 10 percent playoff refund, it’s a good time to become a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball Club. Timberwolves season ticket member pricing still remains one of the best and most affordable values in all of professional sports, with memberships starting as low as $172. There will continue to be more than 1,000 lower-level season tickets priced as low as $20 per game, the most affordable lower-level season ticket in the NBA. Additionally, 6,700 tickets in the upper-level are priced at $7 or less per game, including 2,000 upper-level tickets priced at only $4 per game. These prices are all guaranteed through the end of the regular season (April 17). After April 17, season ticket memberships will increase. Go to Timberwolves.com for more information!

Schedule set for Lynx

Great to see that the 2012 Western Conference Champion Minnesota Lynx 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.

We’re all on MY29

You know that GameON! is on FOX’s MY29! The Wolves will play a franchise-record 78 regular-season games televised locally, including 50 on Fox Sports North and 25 on the Wolves' exclusive over-the-air broadcast home, WFTC My29. For the second consecutive season, every Wolves regular season contest is carried live on News Radio 830 WCCO-AM.

Breaking News!! See you on TV AT A NEW TIME

Catch your Wolves on this Sunday’s GameON! this week!! You don’t want to miss the Emmy nominated GameON! at 10 a.m. this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 and throughout the weekend on MidCo Sports Net. Our special show this weekend originates from the Local in downtown Minneapolis with Wolves President Chris Wright, former NHL/North Stars standout & team executive Brian Lawton, Motocross stud Tony Schimmel and Chef Chris. GameON! is broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes, on our new GameON! App (free and available for Apple/Android) and online at www.gameontvmn.com.

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, Rod@KTWIN.com 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 Timberwolves.com.

And last but not least, please catch Rod as he hosts the new Twins Post-Post game show w/longtime Minnesota music aficionado Jason Nagel on 96.3 KTWIN-FM radio during the baseball season.

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 WolvesNation.com