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Ratke On The Road | 2019 Summer League

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


Friday, 8:15 a.m., MSP Airport

Well hello, good friends!

After taking last year off from Summer League, I'm back! 

I'm currently at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport chugging a cold brew coffee from the fine folks at Caribou Coffee.

I would like to apologize for the generic picture for this story. This is all I could find. Maybe I'll update it. But then if I update it and you're reading this, you really won't know what I'm talking about, so maybe I'll leave it.

Hopefully you all had a great Fourth of July with your loved ones. I know I did! 

The Wolves play later this afternoon against the Cleveland Cavaliers. You can watch that game on NBA TV at 4 p.m. CT.

Check out the Scouting Report here

I don't have much else to report right now. No snacks right now, in case you were wondering. When we get to Vegas, I'll make a stop at a convenient store and load up on some snacks that will be full of plenty of fake cheese. Summer Bod 2019.

We'll talk soon. 

Friday, 1:52 p.m. (Vegas time, baby!) - Las Vegas

Here we are, at Cox Pavillion for the first Wolves game of Summer League. The energy is high!

To update my day after we landed: Pretty much just went to the gym to get my elliptical on. We were able to get a good chat in with Wolves coach Ryan Saunders and GM Scott Layden when getting our bags. Both great guys.

I've only had an apple today so there's a 300 percent chance I get popcorn (or a Blizzard because there's a freaking Dairy Queen in this place!) at halftime. 

I'll check back in after this game and after I post all the game content to the site. 

Friday, 6:29 p.m. - Las Vegas

What up, party people?! Checking in after a pretty impressive 85-75 Wolves win over the Cavaliers.

Keita Bates-Diop was the MVP. The dude looks so incredibly confident and he deserves to be after putting in a lot of work this offseason.

Postgame content is all done. You should click all around this page and stay on pages for a long time. We appreciate it.

I'm starting to hit a wall. But if any city can help me out in that regard, I have a feeling I might just be in the right place. 

I'm starving and definitely need to get myself some snacks. I did some work on popcorn at the arena ($4 for A LOT), but now it's dinner time. 

Any places I should go? Let me know!

Saturday, 8:36 a.m. - Las Vegas

Good morning, from the City of Angels.

So, umm, there was a freaking earthquake last night. Thoughts and prayers to everyone further West. Man, what a weird thing to be part of. I was in my room, pretty high up, and the building just started to sway back and forth. For some reason, my reaction was to run to the bathroom. No idea why. Makes no sense. But such is life. Again, hoping everyone is OK.

Last night, I walked around. Bought a hat because, in classic Kyle Ratke fashion, I forgot one of the 1,818 that I own. I had some nachos for dinner, which in my mind, is the best kind of dinner. 

Today, I'm going to head to the gym shortly and get some breakfast and a coffee after. The team practices this afternoon, and we'll have plenty of content from that up later this afternoon, or if you're in CT, later this evening. 

Talk to ya'll soon. 

Saturday, 6:13 p.m. - Las Vegas

What a #content day it's been. The Wolves officially acquired Jarrett Culver this morning. We've got plenty of content up from that, including a roundtable and a podcast with Culver's coach at Texas Tech, Chris Beard.

Go check that out.

We also went to practice this afternoon and interviewed Josh Okogie and Jordan Murphy. Those interviews are on our YouTube page, and our website.

I was able to grab lunch with Jace Frederick from the Pioneer Press and Chris Hine from the Star Tribune. Both great guys, and you should definitely read their stuff, too. We've got a pretty talented media group in the Minneapolis area.

Food rundown for today:

  • Breakfast: Apple.
  • Lunch: Quesadilla. 
  • Snack: Some chip hybrid Cheez-Its. Not sure how I feel about them.
  • Dinner: TBD

The Wolves are back at it tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. CT against a pretty intriguing Hawks team. We'll have plenty of coverage for that game, too.

We'll see what the status of Culver is as we get closer to tipoff. 

Sunday, 9:36 p.m. - Las Vegas

I bet you missed me. Or you didn't even notice I was gone which really hurts my feelings!

Just got done posting all of the postgame content from Minnesota's thrashing over Atlanta tonight. Very good win and the Wolves are now one of four 2-0 teams at 2019 Summer League. Let's goooooo!

Here are four random thoughts from the day:

  • I bought a Summer League hat today. That's the one thing I need. Another hat. As my mom would have said: "Kyle Robert . . . "
  • I ate a pretzel at the arena in about 12 seconds. I'm both embarrassed and impressed by myself.
  • Jarrett Culver is a class-act dude. Soft spoken, but after watching him work out this morning, I think Wolves fans are going to be pretty happy with him. I wouldn't anticipate him playing on Monday, but we'll see.
  • I ate tacos for dinner. So-so. This is why I snack and don't eat real meals.

We'll be back at it tomorrow. Scouting report in the morning, along with a Culver feature. We'll talk soon. 

Monday, 4:15 p.m. - Las Vegas

Day four in Vegas. Feels like it might be Day 14. 

We're here a few hours before the Wolves face off against the Bucks at Cox Pavillion. It's actually been a pretty busy day so far.

We went to a practice this morning, something Jarrett Culver took part in. Culver also signed his contract last night. The team announced that he will not play in Summer League, which is smart. 

For lunch, I had a chicken sandwich from Strip Burger. Very tasty.

Did I shave my face a few minutes ago, only for the battery to go dead a quarter through when I was shaving? Why yes. Did I bring my charger? No. So here I am. Just 75 percent bearded Kyle.

Fun times. 

Wednesday, 12:48 p.m. - Las Vegas

Good afternoon! Greetings from Las Vegas. I just finished attempting to iron a shirt. I'm afraid I made it worse. Good times in Vegas, baby!

I'm here about three hours before the Wolves try to remain undefeated against the Miami Heat in Summer League preliminary play.

A few updates on this trip:

  • Finally, I bought a bag of Goldfish. After 12 hours, they are almost gone. 
  • My Red Bull count on this trip isn't a good one. 
  • After the game tonight, some of us from the team are going to a Gwen Stefani concert. Vegas has changed me.
  • Our videographer Noah and I had a Blizzard during Monday's game against the Bucks. Not sure why I'm telling you, but it seemed important.

I'll try to be more frequent with my updates. Day 6 in Vegas. I look like least six months older than when I got here. 

Thursday, 6:04 p.m. - Las Vegas

What is up my party people. Day seven is Las Vegas. I've lost three pounds, but it feels like I've gained 20. And instead of 29, I feel like I'm 89. But that's life in Vegas, the Emerald City, man.

The team went to the Gwen Stefani concert last night, and it was awesome. She's great. Very fun time.

We had practice this morning. A lot of smiles and rightfully so with this team 4-0 and set to compete for the Summer League championship starting on Saturday (we don't know the exact time yet, though).

I went to In-N-Out for the first time EVER today for lunch. And . . . it was kind of underwhelming? Maybe I'm crazy. 

Tonight, I'm just catching up on work and plan to go to bed early, which in Las Vegas is 2 a.m.  

(Just kidding bosses who are reading this! I'll be in bed by 10 p.m.)

The team will probably practice again tomorrow. I'll check in then. 

Saturday, 10:22 a.m. - Still Las Vegas

It's been eight days in this city. I just looked at myself in the mirror and didn't recognize myself.

While this city can get a guy tired, I will say it's been very fun being around this team. There are team dinners and events. The goal is for everyone to feel part of something bigger than themselves. That's probably the one thing I'll take away from this trip more than anything. Yesterday at practice, they let me shoot a halfcourt shot. I airballed it. But still. How cool is that?

As far as food updates are concerned, I've ate at a Mexican joint three times on this trip. Not necessarily because it's good, but because I'm lazy and it's right across from our hotel.

It's a win or go home game for the Wolves tonight against the Mavericks. 

At this point, why not just win the whole thing?

Sunday, 2:33 p.m. - Las Vegas

You know what's fun? Seeing two rounds of weekend visitors in Vegas. People get wild. I feel like the old local guy who is just crabby anytime someone is loud. That's what nine days in Vegas will do for you.

Big win from the Wolves last night against the Mavericks. There was really never any doubt.

Tonight could be a challenge, going up against Jarrett Allen and the Nets. A win puts the Wolves in the Summer League championship. Let's gooooo!

After my razor went dead after the first day, I looked like I was on an eight-day bender in Vegas (not far off, I guess) this morning with some sort of gross half-beard.

I decided to clean-shave my face for the first time in years and in completely-related news, I look like I'm 12 years old.

There's a 300 percent chance I get my ID checked walking through the casino today.

Plenty of game content to come. We'll talk soon.

Monday, 1:25 p.m. - Las Vegas

Championship, here we come!

The Wolves will wrap up Summer League tonight against the Grizzlies for the 2019 Summer League championship. It's been pretty fun being around these guys. I've never seen a group grow so close so fast. Big hats off to Summer League head coach Pablo Prigioni for the work he's done with this group.

Hopefully they can close things out tonight. It's so weird with the schedule being a back-to-back-to-back. Minnesota might have to rely on some of the bench guys.

As for my face, well, I got my ID checked last night while watching someone play blackjack. And today at the gym, a woman asked me if I was 18.

Me: "I'm 29."

Her: "Oh. Okay."

Good times in Las Vegas, my friends.

Win or lose, I'm coming back home tomorrow after 11 days in Las Vegas, which most experts would say is 10 too many.

But in all honesty, it's been a lot of fun and I hope you're enjoying our content throughout.

We'll talk soon.

Tuesday, 8:29 a.m., Las Vegas

I'm coming home!

The Wolves lost a tough one last night against the Grizzlies. But hey, to lose by just one point when you were down by as much as 17 in the game is something to be proud of. This Wolves Summer League team is a small glimpse into what this front office wants to do as an organization. There was a culture shift, and the team played a different style of basketball (more 3s and layups, less midrange shots) than we've seen in the past.

We had a team dinner last night and I'm running on about three hours of sleep. Of course, our flight got delayed and I was tempted to put $20 bill into a slot machine but instead I just crumpled it up and threw it in the trash.

We'll have individual player highlights up on the site throughout the week from Summer League, along with a longer piece focusing on the bigger picture from Summer League.

Thank you so much for following along. Until next time, dear friends. 


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