Smack / Sep 3, 2009 / 5:45 am

How Minnesota can forget about Ricky Rubio (for now)

Jonny Flynn

Jonny Flynn

On Wednesday, Ricky Rubio talked about his decision to put the Wolves on his waiting list and stay in Spain: “Going to Minnesota would have just complicated my life a lot. It was a risk,” Rubio told the Associated Press, adding that “the deal with Minnesota had too many obstacles.” (Stephon Marbury co-signed on that “complicated my life” part, sending his well wishes from Planet Lovetron.) Come 2011, though, the biggest obstacle standing between Rubio coming to the Wolves might not be his contract buyout, but Jonny Flynn. Now that he’s got the starting PG job, Flynn has as good a shot at anybody at winning Rookie of the Year. Similar to Derrick Rose in Chicago last year, Flynn will get a ton of playing time — his backups are Chucky Atkins and Bobby Brown — and rookie coach Kurt Rambis has no choice but to trust him right off the bat as they grow and learn on the job together … Another rookie walking into a good situation is Terrence Williams. Penciled in as New Jersey’s starting small forward from Day One, Williams been at the team’s practice facility more than the janitor this summer. “At the end of the day, it may be lonely, but you work from 10 (a.m.) to 12:30 with a lift, then from 12:30 to 10 you’re free,” T-Will told the Newark Star-Ledger. “It’s not like college, when you go from 6 in the morning to 7:30, sometimes you don’t get to shower if you have a class at 8. And after class you get done at 2:30 and practice until 5:30, then you try to see the girls. Now, here, you have free time to do whatever.” Terrence can take our word for it: Being right next to New York City, the “whatever” you’ll run into out here will make you forget all about Louisville … But with all due respect to Flynn, T-Will and Stephen Curry, the R.O.Y. is Blake Griffin‘s trophy to lose. Blake threw out the first pitch at last night’s L.A. Dodgers game, tossing a pretty good ball, but he looked weird out there on the diamond. He looked skinnier on TV than we thought he’d look, and at 6-10, was like a right-handed Randy Johnson … There was only one personnel move in the NBA yesterday, with the Hawk signing one of the Collins twins. Does it matter which one? Alright then … The other day our DimeMag.com poll asked who was pound-for-pound a better player between John Stockton and Karl Malone. We were a little surprised that Stockton won by such a large margin with the readers, but apparently you all know what you’re talking about. In a recent interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Jerry Sloan said Stockton was the closest thing he’d seen to a “perfect” basketball player, in response to when Bill Belichick called Tedy Bruschi the perfect football player earlier this week. And you know Sloan doesn’t just hand out compliments or get into hyperbole like that on the regular. When he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame next week, Sloan might deliver the shortest HOF speech ever, giving a quick wave and a “Thanks” … Chris Paul or Tony Parker: Who’s better? If you missed the argument yesterday, tell us who you’d pick … Stat lines from Wednesday’s FIBA Americas tournament: Carlos Arroyo had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists in Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic, while Charlie Villanueva scored 21, and Al Horford posted 18 points and 10 boards for the losers; Luis Scola‘s 25 points and seven boards led Argentina past Mexico; Warren Green scored 25 to lead Panama over Uruguay; and Leandro Barbosa dumped 31 points (11-16 FG) on Canada as unbeaten Brazil secured their spot in next year’s World Championships …

Air

Air

E-mail from Dime’s Austin Burton: “My girl is in Chicago this week and sent me this (photo to the right). The best part is she didn’t even have to ask if I’d want a picture. My basketball habit is finally rubbing off on her.” … The D-League had its expansion draft for the incoming Springfield Armor and Maine Red Claws franchises. (Springfield should’ve been called the “Isotopes.”) Ex-Mississippi State 7-footer Marcus Campbell was Springfield’s top pick, while James “Flight” White was the first pick for Maine. Some familiar names that got called: Cedric Bozeman, Kedrick Brown, John Lucas III, Eddie Gill, Billy Thomas and Marcus Taylor … Have you been paying attention to what’s going on with the Denver Broncos? After years of quasi-contending but never really being a Super Bowl-caliber squad, they finally fired longtime coach Mike Shanahan this offseason and replaced him with young whippersnapper Josh McDaniels. But now before McDaniels has even coached his first official game, he helped piss off QB Jay Cutler enough to where Cutler demanded (and got) a trade, and WR Brandon Marshall is pulling a classic “I’m gonna act up so much they HAVE to trade me” act that’s about to work in his favor. What’s the NBA equivalent? Let’s say the Hawks have another decent-but-not-great season in ’09-10, then they fire Mike Woodson and bring in a young hotshot like Memphis’ Josh Pastner. But before Pastner can even get the ball rolling, Joe Johnson decides he doesn’t want to be in Atlanta anymore, and then Josh Smith turns into another T.O. trying to force a trade. The sad part? We can actually see that exact scenario happening with the Hawks … It does bring up an interesting question, though: If your team consistently made the NBA playoffs but never really threatened for a championship, would you rather keep things like they are without any major changes, or try a big move to shake things up, even if it means a couple years in the Lottery? … We’re out like Marshall …

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  • TJ

    The only problem with your Hawks hypothetical is that you are casting Mike Woodson as a respected coach.

  • live n let live baby!!

    first//

    man enough with this rubio bum.. waste of space drama causing spaniard.. privilege to play in nba not right.. flyn will be a much better player.. i swear.. is half the world or media blind.. always reporting on shiz that dont matter just because you want to push an agenda or just to fill time.. try reporting on real issues for a change.. i know its offseason but damn.. this spanish tweed.. bun him..

    //the best

  • Rafa23

    nice simpsons reference with the isotopes!!

  • Mark

    Whatever happened to Maurice Taylor? Another former Clipper first round pick that has dropped off the face of the planet??!!

  • BRUCE

    Minny got it all figured out. Ride Jonny for 2 years. If Jonny can hold it down, good. If Jonny can’t hold it down, Rubio can take over the reins in 2 years. Either way, not too bad!

  • BRUCE

    The objective is the win the CHIP not contend for it!

  • alf (from melmak)

    So, which of the Wonder Twins went to Atlanta? My guess is Sloan is keeping a spot on the Jazz for the other half of the Wonder Twins.

    Also on Sloan, a news coming out of Utah says he is excited to be coaching Boozer this season and wants to see what they can do with a healthy lineup. Diplomacy at its best.

    My meal allowance wants to know who has the better looking statue. Is it the Jordan statue in Chicago? Or the Stockton-to-Malone statue in Utah?

  • Sweet English

    Thanks rafa, i think we all got that.

    As a fan (and a fan of the celtics, so speaking from first hand experience) I’d much rather my team took a nose dive from play-off-first-round-gonners to worst-record-in-the-league-jokers to nba-champ-anything-is-possible-bad-ass-muf****rs over a 3-4 year period. And we all know there is plenty of lottery teams clearing out for the 2010 free agent sale of the century, i dont understand why there arent any playoff caibre teams doing the same.

    And the answer is probably because people will lose there jobs. It doesnt matter if its a long term plan to become champs, if you go from being playoff certs to under .500 bottom dwellers, the fans are going to want heads to roll, so if your the guy in the front office who makes that decision, chances are its your job thats gone.

    Going out 1st-2nd round every year might not be breaking barriers, but its safe.

  • K Dizzle

    lol @ “There was only one personnel move in the NBA yesterday, with the Hawk signing one of the Collins twins. Does it matter which one? Alright then …”

  • M Intellect

    1st time was cool, after a while you get used to it but “DAMN” will we ever read a Dime article without hearing a shout out to Austin’s chick? I hear so much about her I’m starting to fall in love with her.

    AB = The Doug Christie of Sports Journalism!

  • Rafa23

    @sweet
    fuck u idiot, i was just saying nice reference. couldn’t care less if everybody got it or not.

  • Atom

    Is Rambis really a “rookie” coach? Dude coached Shobe in the Playoffs in 1999. That was an underachieving team though who got swept in the second round by the Spurs, so i could see why you might discount it.

    They had J.R. Rider and Rodman on the same squad for a while that season so I can only imagine what they were getting up to in LA after practice (that is, if it was a day they both decided to go to practice).

  • Guitar Hero

    Springfield Isotopes would actually be hilarious.

    I’d prefer to see my team make an 1st round PO exit…simply because my team’s 1st round pick belongs to Utah.

    *sigh*

  • shake&bake

    If you’re not going to win it all, the next best thing is getting the #1 draft pick. Nobody gives a shit about 2nd place.

  • Phileus

    @ 14: then why are Malone, Stockton and Sloan headed for the Hall of Fame?

  • shake&bake

    @15 – because they were good. The hall of fame isn’t a hall of champions only.

  • Skeeter McGee

    At the expense of being ridiculed, can I ask something about the whole draft process? So your telling me if a team spends so much time and money scouting and traveling and interviewing someone like Rubio, ends up drafting him, and then finding out that the guy probably won’t play for them, that somehow this is all okay? The whole idea makes no sense to me and it almost seems like the T-Wolves wasted a good pick, am I right in saying that?

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    The Albuquerque triple A baseball team actually named their team the Isotopes after that Simpsons episode.

    I can’t wait until we stop hearing about rubio. The regular season can’t come any sooner. It’s the only thing that can save us from the rubio hype machine.

  • Heckler…formerly ‘Yallallreadyknow’

    ricky rubios is all hype. remember, the bitch is only 18yrs old. he aint that nba good yet–and i still dont think he’ll ever be. jonny flynn gonna do his thing in minny.

    jason collins went to the hawks.

    terrance williams is gonna be better than a lot of people think. not so much as a scorer, but just as an all around player. he’s gonna rebound alot for his position. watch.

    im on record as saying malone edges stockton. by i got no argument with anyone who says otherwise.

    this is DIME; why the hell are there fottball references in smack? cut that shit out.

    so austin….your in ny/nj/seattle or wherever, and your girl is alone in chi-town?…hmmm…

    ALWAYS choose to make the playoffs. get that revenue from the home games. excite the fans. excite the players and coaches. an 8th seed once played in the finals. and an 8th seed once beat the shit outta the team with the 5th(FIFTH) best record in league history.

    ask the phoenix suns fans which they’d rather have…hahaha bitches

  • robmo35

    You guys really need to tone down your Johnny Flynn boner.
    He was good at Syracuse, and now he goes to a bad team with a rookie coach in the midst of a point guard laden league. Is he really going to make that much of an impact? I wish him no ill will, and I will be the first person to apologize to him in this forum if he is the real deal, but right now I just don’t see it.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    After your hate spewed at Jordan for no apprent reason the other day, you don’t really deserve a picture of his statue Austin. You clearly can’t appreciate what it really means. Or, were you just trying to build your resume by showing you can argue any Pro and Con.

  • That’s whats Up

    Concerning Minnesota:

    I heard Jonny Flynn told Bobby Brown:

    “Every little step I take, You will be there.
    Every little step I make, We’ll be together”

    It’s gonna be solid between them two

  • Brado

    As a Jazz fan I know what if feals like having my team make the playoffs every year but never winning a chip. They’ve come close twice. I would rather see them make the playoffs every year than have a tanked season to get somebody high in the draft. As Utah has shown they do a pretty damn good job drafting without having a high pick, or they’ve proven you can make trades to get a high pick (D-Will). Every team should have the mind set to win now!

  • jzsmoove

    John Stockton is the baddest white boy in any sports!! yeah you heard it.

  • jzsmoove

    angel face my ass, this dude brought new meaning to the words, dirty playbook.

  • http://dime Tristan

    People dont see what rubio is really trying to do hes gonna let johnny flynn do all the hard work getting the wolves back to respectablity and then after two years when they are hovering around the 40 win mark because of the natural progression of all the players he will come in and be the point guard of a stacked roster and kahn will trade flynn to some garbage team and let rubio get all the glory for being the missing piece and kahn will be known as a genious for waiting for rubio to come over

  • sh!tfaced

    HA HA! ala Nelson to the Simpsons gaffe.

    Isotopes would have been the best fiction-to-real name since they actually started brewing Duff Beer.
    But with a shitload of cities named Springfield, there’s bound to be at least one team out there with that name.

    The choke factor alone was the pound-for-pound difference between Karl ‘Hate-Mail’ Malone and ‘Pasty Gangsta’ John Stockton.

    Hasn’t Don Nelson been getting the “I’m gonna act up so much they HAVE to trade me” act/T.O. treatment in Golden State for a couple of seasons now?

  • Claw

    Living in Phoenix, it was still much better playing Mike D ball and having a chance at a championship then when they jumped the shark by getting Shaq. You don’t want the Suns to have a draft pick they always f*k that up, mostly since Colangelo left.

    Rubio was a terrible pick, he wasn’t come to the NBA unless a major city drafted him and unless Minny had a deal already worked out with NY they just drafted two PGs in a row and terrible scouting. They now act like they wanted him to play overseas for 2 years after they f*d up trying to sign him. Another team that will never get it.

  • stevie o

    Rubio is a terrible player. 10 5 and 2 as a backup pg on his jovenut team??? That is worthy of a top 10 pick. There really must be a few international players right now who are long and lanky. Forreal though, if you watch a WHOLE game of him play, you’ll see that he is “adam morrison unathletic” and he’s not even as tall as him.

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    Thats basically how it is for my Rockets
    Close but no cigar

  • http://www.twitter.com/AustinatDIMEmag Austin Burton

    @Chicagorilla — All I argued was that Jordan is human, not some basketball extra-terrestrial that some people make him out to be. If you call that hating, I don’t know what to tell you.

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    Terrance Williams is bragging about working out 2hrs a day? Like that’s going to help his stroke. But I’m sure the ladies at the club will appreciate his free time. I can see him getting traded before year 3 of his deal ends for some reason.

  • Mack Brownee

    keep making the playoffs; you never know when you’ll be back and I’d rather have a winner that doesn’t win it all then risk having a crappy team

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    @ Seven Duece – I think you read T-Will’s comments wrong, he was saying that he only has to do work until 1230, then he can do whatever he wants, he doesn’t have any other classes, or job, or homework, or BS – so he’s been using that extra free time working at the gym, getting his shot and stuff right – i think he’s bragging about his awesome life more than his tough work schedule… but maybe I read it wrong.

  • buckethead

    Minnestoa has basketball fans??? =0