Latest News, NBA / Oct 18, 2010 / 1:30 pm

Dime Q&A: Jonny Flynn On Wesley Johnson, Sneakers & The Heat

Jonny Flynn

Jonny Flynn (Photo. Nicky Woo)

It has become a running joke to poke fun at Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn‘s mistakes: drafting too many point guards, trading away Al Jefferson for cheap and gambling big money on Darko Milicic. But one decision that definitely wasn’t a mistake was taking Jonny Flynn in the Lottery of the 2009 NBA Draft.

During his rookie season, the 6-0 point guard was one of the few rays of light in an otherwise gloomy 15-67 season. He started all 81 games that he played in while averaging 13.5 points and 4.4 assists and made the All-Rookie Second Team.

Besides recovering from surgery this July on his left hip that will cause him to miss the start of this season, we caught up with the former Syracuse star to talk about the summer, sneakers and what’s on the horizon.

***

Dime: Minnesota was more aggressive this summer than probably any other organization in the NBA. What do you think about the way your team is taking shape?
Jonny Flynn: It just shows how aggressive our management is, how much they really want to win. You can see we are building a nice, young nucleus. When you look at past teams like the Portland Trail Blazers when they had a young Brandon Roy and then they drafted LaMarcus Aldridge, they built their teams and the teams grow. I think that’s what David Kahn and the rest of our management is trying to do. They are trying to get us a young team of good players to continue and let us grow together to see how we end up.

Dime: And now you are going to be teammates with your boy, Wesley Johnson.
JF: It’s great to have him on the team. Not only was he like a teammate to me at Syracuse, but we are really good friends. We are really, really good friends. To be able to work with one of your good friends is just a blessing. It’s great to have him on my team and he’s going to push me every day and I am going to push him. That’s going to help make this whole thing great.

Dime: Obviously, the largest story of the summer was the Miami Heat. What is your opinion on LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh choosing to play together?
JF: I think it was just an opportunity to win. That was the most selfless thing you will see from any superstar in any sport ever. They turned down money. They turned down fame. They turned down everything and they still did it. It was so selfless. I think with people bashing them, it was what they wanted to do. They wanted to win a championship and they felt that was the best way to do it. They went to go win a ring. That’s the ultimate goal. At the end of the day, they did whatever made them happy.

Dime: You are a huge presence on Twitter. Why?
JF: I like being able to connect with fans and see what everyone has to say about different topics that you enjoy or like to talk about. Before Twitter, you could be just thinking in your head, asking yourself a question. Now, you can just go jump on Twitter and ask that question to your followers and someone is going to answer that. It’s just great to be able to do that, connect with people and really reaching out to your fans.

Dime: Everyone knows you are a big sneakerhead. What kicks did you pick up this summer?
JF: I got a couple pairs of Jordans. I got the IIs, three pairs of the IXs. I just got the Xs. I got the Griffeys. If you name it, I probably got it this summer. I just love shoes. I just love them. The funny thing is you don’t wear them all, but I just love them so much I just keep on getting them.

Dime: What colorway from the Griffeys are you feeling the most?
JF: I like the black and silver ones. But the ones with the sky blue and the gray are the best ones. The sky blue and the grays are by far the illest colorway ever. It’s crazy.

Dime: What else did you do this summer to get ready for this season?
JF: I was in-between Cleveland and Niagara Falls with my guy Jake Presutti from Syracuse University. He’s a good friend of mine and a great workout guy. He’s been working me out this summer and I have just been working on everything with my game. I am definitely working on my jump shot. You have to have consistent form on your jumper in this League in order to be a good point guard. So I am definitely working on that. I’m working on a floater and learning all of the little tricks shots: bank shots, shots that you can get off quick before the defender comes off. Really when I am playing pickup, I am working on getting other people involved and really setting the table. I’m just working on things I am going to be doing this year.

Dime: This season, what will be a successful year for you as a team?
JF: I think a successful year for the team is to definitely improve in wins and be competitive. We want to just be competitive every night. In this League, you are not going to win 82 games, but if you can just be competitive every night and teams know they have to bring it every night that they play against you, then that would be a successful year for us. When you add that in, we will definitely improve in wins. If we keep getting better than that will be a successful year for our team.

Dime: What about as an individual?
JF: Personally, a successful year for me would be to just see my leadership grow. I want to mature as a leader on this team when guys are looking up to me, when guys are responding to me where I can go into that full-fledged leadership role. I think that would really be the most success that I can have this year. That would make me the happiest out of this whole entire year.

Dime: The T-Wolves seem to have a revolving door of point guards. This summer, they brought in another one in Luke Ridnour. How do you deal with that knowing they are always bringing in players to directly compete with you?
JF: If you go to any team in the NBA, you are going to be battling for a spot. I just look at it like you have to keep going on the same path. You have to keep working out. You have to keep doing things that you can control. I can’t control any situation. The only situations that I can control are me working out, me eating healthy, me getting my body right for the upcoming season. So I just stay on that path and don’t worry about anything else I can’t control.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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  • Shakers

    But one decision that definitely wasn’t a mistake was taking Jonny Flynn in the Lottery of the 2009 NBA Draft.

    Seriously??? Taking Flynn over Curry and Jennings wasn’t an enormous mistake?

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @ Shakers

    At the time, it was the right move. Yes, Curry and Jennings had better years, but Flynn is going to be a stud!

  • IGP

    I agree that Flynn is going to be decent but insinuating that he will be better than Curry or Evans is stupid.

  • haslem

    @ICP
    Evans was off the board.

    @AP at the time it made sense because Jennings and curry were wild cards (Could Curry play in the NBA we know that now but hindsight is 20/20) And Flynn was great at Syracuse. I’m a big fan of Flynn dunno if he’s gonna top those guys though (I hope he does).

    @AP Kahn deserves a lot of hate but come on did he really gamble BIG money on Darko? 4 mill a years for 4 years. not that bad. he’s a 7 footer who at worst gets you 8-5. This wasn’t some Jerome James contract or something.

    Huge Twolve fan and I love Flynns attitude and his game. Hope you take us far Flynn

  • KGFORPRESIDENT

    @Shakers:

    All 3 of those guys—Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings and Jonny Flynn have played ONE year in the NBA. You can’t grade that draft decision after one year. Flynn could very well be the best defender of those 3 (he already is), and the best leader of those 3. He’s super athletic, fearless and has a lot of heart. Yes, after one year he’s the worst of the 3, but let’s give it a few years…I think Flynn will come out on top in the end

    @haslem:

    Well said. J.Flynn has a high ceiling, so there’s no reason he can’t top those guys, especially now that our Wolves have athletic shooters on the wings, that’ll make things much easier for Jonny

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    @KGFORPRESIDENT

    Come on, you have to admit that of all the PG’s the Timberwolves have acquired in the past 2 years, the best one (arguably) was traded away to Denver :P

  • haslem

    @stunnaboy2k11

    If you want to give Kahn shit for trading Ty, why don’t you give the rest of the League shit for letting Lawson fall to 18th in the draft?

  • Captain Fantastic

    Jonny was very ordinary last season. In fact, Ramon Sessions played better than Jonny coming off the bench.

    He will return in November but probably won’t be game shape until December. Even then, Luke will probably be the starting pg for the season.

    Luke is statisically much better and makes vastly better on-court decisions than Jonny. With a rebuilding team with mostly early-20′s players, the team needs a steady hand at the point guard position. That isn’t Jonny.

  • dan

    damn, is it all t-wolves fans up in here? lotta kahn apologists. it’s not like flynn was john wall yo – he’s short, had holes in his game too. not saying he’s not good and not a good prospect, but he wasn’t some CAN’T MISS that you hadda take. not to mention taking flynn spooked rubio. so let’s think: would you rather have, Flynn or Rubio (rubio), Flynn or Curry (Curry), Flynn or Curry AND Rubio (since he would come over w/Curry at the 2). And Brandon Jennings is a way better defender than flynn. Not even close.

    http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1071

  • BUFFALO BRAVE

    Representing WNY!

    Love the attitude jonny keep working hard and prove these haters wrong!

    Center court 4 life, my pops is from there

    Holla

  • Shakers

    I live in Minnesota and saw Flynn play in person a handful of times last season. I’m not a Twolves fan, but would enjoy the games a lot more if they became respectable. I’m hoping Flynn improves and helps Minny get better, but to me he is way behind Curry and Jennings. One season’s results isn’t the only reason I think drafting Flynn over Curry was a mistake; drafting Curry could have helped to keep Rubio. Those two could have been the future backcourt for years. Not to mention that Curry is a fan favorite across the country and would help put butts in the seats of the mostly empty Target Center.

  • Shakers

    I live in Minnesota and saw Flynn play in person a handful of times last season. I’m not a Twolves fan, but would enjoy the games a lot more if they became respectable. I’m hoping Flynn improves and helps Minny get better, but to me he is way behind Curry and Jennings. One season’s results isn’t the only reason I think drafting Flynn over Curry was a mistake; drafting Curry could have helped to keep Rubio. Those two could have been the future backcourt for years. Not to mention that Curry is a fan favorite across the country and would help put butts in the seats of the mostly empty Target Center.