Timberwolves Illustrations

Ratke On The Road | San Diego Training Camp Edition

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


Anaheim, Saturday, 4:45 p.m.

Wow. Things have gotten busy.

Tough night for the Lynx last night in Game 3 against the Sparks at the STAPLES Center. Just one of those games where not really anything went right for Minnesota. 

It was a fun game with some great people. 

Now, here we are before the Wolves take on the Lakers in Anaheim in their first preseason game. We wrote a short little shootaround access piece you can read here

I had a salad I got from room service today. It was like $38. So yeah. Go Kyle and managing money!

We fly out immediately to China after the game, which means, I'm putting athletic shorts on ASAP after the game.

That's all I've got pregame. I'll check back in after the game. 

Los Angeles, Friday, 10:20 a.m.

Good morning from LA!

You may have noticed my location has changed. And that's because I've decided to head to the Lynx and Sparks Game 2 at the STAPLES Center tonight. I'm currently in my hotel writing. Last night, I was able to see an old friend who now works with the Lakers. He gave me a tour of the team's new practice facilities and offices, and let me tell you, they are pretty incredible. If I had to guess, the Wolves and Lakers probably have the two best practice facilities out there.

Today, I need to pound out some work before going to explore Los Angeles. I've already walked around the STAPLES Center. Pretty awesome statues.

Today, we'll have a mailbag, training camp report (the team wraps up their last day of camp today in San Diego) and possibly more! 

Going to get a coffee. I'll chat with you guys soon. 

San Diego, Thursday, 11 a.m.

Gym? Check. Titanic? Check. Mailbag? Check.

I need a coffee and food. So that's my next mission.

The Wolves practice this afternoon. We'll have a practice report up, so be on the lookout for that. And then one more practice before heading to Anaheim for the team's preseason game against the Lakers.

I'll check back in later.

San Diego, Wednesday, 7:37 p.m.

Good evening. Sorry on the lack of RoR posts today. Honestly, just not enough quality snacks to posts about today.

Practice was good, and I wrote about that here. We also have a mailbag and two videos up.

It's crazy to think we leave for China in three days. I've been working on a lenghty feature for that. It's just not where it needs to be right now. Hoodie Ratke is still working on it.

I'm going to read a bit. Lean In is a fantastic read. I took a bit of a break after reading the first 50 pages, but I'm back in. I think for anyone, it's an important thing to read. You have to know where you're at to know where you're going. We can do better. 

And then I'm going to watch last night's episode of This Is Us because why not cry before bed?

I'll check it tomorrow morning!

San Diego, Wednesday, 8:05 a.m.

What a Lynx win last night. My goodness. I was watching in my hotel room with a bag of barbeque chips. Great start to the game via Lindsay Whalen. 

The Wolves are back at practice this afternoon. We'll have plenty of coverage from it, so be excited for that. I'll also be posting that feature story that I promised you yesterday. Sorry, transcribing isn't fun. 

I'm going to head to the gym (maybe yoga?) now, and then I'll be back for a mailbag before practice. Later peeps.

San Diego, Tuesday, 1:42 p.m.


I just had some lunch. Two very good tacos. I posted them here because it's 2017 and that's what you do. 

Literally two people working here stared at me until I posted it on Instagram. They were so relieved after I finally posted. Almost like peeing for the first time after a four-hour flight. It was odd. 

We'll still have a feature story later on today. About what? I haven't decided. But what I do know it's Tuesday and we open basketball cards on Tuesday. So I'm going to get me some cards. 

I went to a gift shop today to get some gifts for my people. The only problem with gift shops is that nothing is really authentic. So, I'll look somewhere else on this trip. Hey, four days down. Like 15 to go. 

I'll check in later tonight. Get ready for some basketball cards. 

San Diego, Tuesday, 9:41 a.m.


I'm chugging an iced coffee and I'm feeling good. Gym is already done, I wrote a mailbag and I ate some Fruit Loops. I'm not sure if it gets much better than this.

I have a top-secret project that I'm working on in about 45 minutes. You'll see stuff from that soon, but if I told you what I was doing I'd have to send Liam Neeson after you and I don't want to do that.

After that, I'll probably write some sort of feature story. No practice today. A scheduled day off for the Wolves.

I am looking for somewhere to watch Game 2 of the WNBA Finals tonight, though. Any suggestions?

I'll check back in around lunch. 

San Diego, Monday, 5:31 p.m.

So, I lied.

I didn't update this blog after my workout and before practice. I'M SORRY! I was busy uploading videos for you peeps to watch because I care about you and love you as basketball fans. 

But I'm here now and that's all that matters. 

I'm currently writing in my hotel bar because being stuck my hotel room is about as fun as a flat football. 

Since I've been here, I did see a news segment on toilets, so you could say that's a win. 

Timberwolves practice is over for the day. Kind of an uneventful day, but not all days are fun and exciting. I was able to see Dave Benz, the team's TV play-by-play announcer. We talked about polo shirt sizes. So that was a nice talk. Jamal Crawford had very nice things to say about coach Tom Thibodeau and Nemanja Bjelica seemed pumped to be back practicing

This afternoon, I hung out with my buddy Jace Frederick from the Pioneer Press. He does a solid job with his Wolves coverage, but you definitely shouldn't read his and should read our coverage instead.

I'm guessing the team will have a day off soon. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see. 

I'll check in tomorrow. Much love from the Emerald City. 

San Diego, Monday, 8:52 a.m.

Good morning, good friends.

I went to be before 9 p.m. last night and I'm eating animal crackers right now. 

The Wolves will be back at practice today around 1 p.m. Plenty of content to come after, including a practice report, videos, a training camp mailbag and hopefully a feature of sorts.

The Lynx lost Game 1 yesterday, which stinks, but after coming back from 28-2, I'd argue the Lynx have the momentum heading into Tuesday's Game 2. 

I'm going to head to the gym and grab some coffee. I'll check back in before practice. 

Have a great Monday.

San Diego, Sunday, 7:10 p.m.

It's colder here than I thought it would be. I mean, it's nice. But I had to wear a pullover. I heard it's like 97 degrees in Minnesota.

Regardless, it's been a busy day here. Practice, followed by a few articles. As far as Ratke on the Road stuff goes, I mean . . . I ate a bunch of animal crackers and there's a 67 percent chance I get room-service french fries at some point tonight. 

I'm currently watching Sunday Night Football and it's 7:13 p.m. Normally I'm not awake for this. What a time. Live your best life. Some kids outside my room are playing Jenga or something. Darn kids. 

I'm sorry I'm boring. I'll check back in tomorrow peeps. You're all awesome. 

San Diego, Sunday, 8:48 a.m.

Good morning!

What a day it's already been. Gym. Laundry. Tan.

Did I go to bed at 8:58 last night?


Just kidding. I did. You probably went out with your friends because you're young, wild and free. I'm old and I had Raisin Bran for breakfast this morning. #Raisins4Life. While we're at it, oatmeal raisin cookies are the best.

It's a big sports day. The Lynx open up Game 1 of the WNBA Finals today at home against the Los Angeles Sparks. That should be a doozy. Follow my dude Mitchell Hansen for coverage. The game airs on ABC at 2:30 p.m. CT. 

I'll be in my hotel room for the majority of the day watching football and then the Lynx game. This whole two hours early business here is really throwing me off. 

Practice availability is at 1:30 for me, 3:30 for you. We'll have plenty of coverage from that, just like we did yesterday because that's my job.

I'll check back in later on, peeps. 

San Diego, Saturday, 5:57 p.m.

Welcome to what will end up being the longest-lasting Ratke on the Road blog ever. Some say it could never be done. Some doubted us. One person even changed my account information to post on Timberwolves.com.


Day 1 in San Diego for the team’s training camp. I’ll be here with the team through training camp and then through the trip to China.

Why me, you ask?

Luckily, I overhead the conversation.

“Kyle has a cat. We think that’s his best friend which is somewhat weird, but let’s move along. He plays video games. His diet consists of dry cereal, Red Bull and Cheese-Its. We don't particularly like him at work. He doesn't wear socks. Plus, we’ve already asked eight people to go and they said no. This sounds like a great road trip for him!’

Okay, that’s not true. I do wear socks. They are just no-show socks. It's 2017. People don't need to see your socks.

Twenty days or 19 days or whatever is a long time. But a my friend (not my cat) told me this morning how lucky I am to be on this trip and how I’ll look back and be like, “Man, I’m lucky.” So yeah, I feel good about this.

We have a lot to catch up on, so let's hammer through this quick.

Ten non-basketball highlights from this trip so far:

  1. I had the middle seat on my flight. I’d rather stand.
  2. Upon my San Diego arrival, I got some grub at the bar at my hotel. The bartender was a Cubs fan and we complained about Midwest weather and how San Diego was so great. And then I asked if they had any job openings (just kidding, bosses!).
  3. I have a patio and if I stand up, I can see the pool. But if I stand up, I look like I’m creeping on the pool. I stretch laying down.
  4. For breakfast, I had a bag of Chex Mix.
  5. After practice today, I pulled up my app to get a ride back home. The driver drove around in like 18 circles. Called me. Yelled at me. And then canceled the ride. Fun times.
  6. There’s a Whole Foods close to me and I got a free cheese sample. That was fun.
  7. I purchased animal crackers and chocolate covered almonds at Whole Foods. I’m 12 years old.
  8. The NBA is a pretty great place to work.
  9. There’s a 48 percent I packed a few dirty clothes with me on my trip unintentionally. If I said intentionally, that’d be weird.
  10. This should be No. 2, but I just remembered this. I watched a Bernie Madoff movie on my flight here with Robert De Niro and Michell Pfeiffer. I suggest you watch it. It’s fantastic. HBO I think.

I’m going to go crush some animal crackers.

I’ll check in tomorrow morning.


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