Glen Taylor Interview Transcript

Glen, if you were delivering a State of the Timberwolves address today, in your mind, what are the primary issues facing the franchise?
Well, I don’t think we ever want to be thought of as an average franchise. Our goal has been to get into the playoffs, and once in the playoffs, you always have a chance of winning a championship. We wanted to be one of those top caliber teams that could win the championship, if we stayed healthy and everything else went well. We found ourselves this year not in the playoffs, so we’ve got to get ourselves back into a position where we can be much more competitive this coming year.
So many fans this year have worried about the day that Kevin Garnett will come out and say, “That’s it, I’m frustrated, I want out of here.” In fact the opposite has occurred. Kevin has stated publicly that he is a part of this franchise and wants to continue here, although, after the win over the Knicks he also showed his frustrations, saying, “I’m tired of going through losses, I don’t want to go through a long rebuilding process.” I suspect that you were probably pleased to hear some of that because I’m sure that you feel the same way.
Absolutely. As the owner of this team, not only am I a great fan of this team, but I have a great investment in this team and I want to win. So I don’t think there’s anybody more frustrated than myself, when we don’t win, including KG, the coach, or any of the other players. So it doesn’t bother me to here other people say, “I’m frustrated because I want to be on a winning team,” because we’re all frustrated. My goal is to win, and win enough so that we can be one of the top caliber teams.
Do you have a chance to talk with Kevin frequently, and have you chatted with him about his remarks?
I do talk to Kevin quite often, not so much when we’re playing games, more so in the summer; days off, sometime at practice, but our talks are always the same. They’re about how we can build this team together and have a better team. He’s always been consistent, he’s always been very open with myself, and I think we will build it together.
You have said previously that you have no plans on trading Kevin Garnett. What is the plan? What would you like to do? Build pieces around him to bring the franchise back to the level it was a couple of years ago? What are the free-agency plans?
I think that every fan knows that you can’t build a team up on one individual, or you can’t build a team up, quite frankly, on five individuals, You’ve got to have about eight to ten very strong basketball players on your team in order to win, and it’s the mix of the right players. Now that says a couple of different things. That says that they are players that have to play together, get along and work together, but also it says that they have to have some different skills. Without a doubt we were hurt this year when Fred Hoiberg was not able to come back, because of his 3-point shooting, and then Troy Hudson got hurt. He’s probably our next in line for that outside-shooter and that changed the game that we were able to play. So, next year we have to find somebody, or two, who can help us with that long-range shooting. And again, I think we could always use another, what I call “big guy”, to help us get rebounds, help in the inside, so that Kevin doesn’t have to pull all the weight in rebounding. So I think those two are the main assets that we want to get.
A lot of fans are worried about the 1st round draft pick that was given to the Clippers in the Sam Cassell-Marko Jaric trade, protected through number 10. We’ve also heard recently that Toronto, which should have a good draft pick, has said that they have enough young people that they would be looking at possibly trading the pick or selling it. If The Wolves lost their 1st round pick this year, is that something that might be enticing to you
Certainly that would be enticing. I think that as the owner of the club, we’ll do whatever it takes to improve the club, and we have shown that money alone will not stand in the way of us making the right choice.
What message could you deliver to fans watching tonight, who are discouraged about the second consecutive year not making the playoffs, maybe worried about Kevin Garnett’s future with the franchise and aren’t necessarily real optimistic about the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
There are a couple of things I would say to our fans. First of all, look at us in the long run in the sense that we have gotten to the playoffs, and when I started off and the ownership changed and I got involved, we had to start from the ground up. We changed every player on the team. Second, I would say that sometimes when things look the bleakest, the best can happen. I think that we know where we’re at. I know that there’s a lot of work out there, and I think that we’re challenged. I know in my history with the other companies I’ve had, that when I’m challenged the greatest I find out that I have the greatest opportunity to make the needed changes. I wouldn’t be pessimistic as a fan because Glen Taylor is not. I’m very optimistic that we can do the right things.