Jace Frederick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Robert Covington admits it was a shock to be shipped out of Philadelphia. He was there during the dark days, as the 76ers went through the early years of “the process,” which entailed a lot of losing and a lot of draft picks.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Shortly after news of Jimmy Butler’s trade to the 76ers broke last Saturday, Philadelphia center Joel Embiid called Andrew Wiggins to ask exactly what it was going to be like playing with Butler. “I said, ‘You’re going to love it,’ because he’s an unselfish player and he’s a winner,” Wiggins said. “If you’re going to battle, you want him on your side. So, I think they’ll be a lot better with him, and he’ll benefit the team in a lot of ways.”
MINNEAPOLIS — The Timberwolves were on their flight home Saturday, Nov. 10, when they received the news — Jimmy Butler was no longer on their team. Minnesota agreed to deal the All-NBA guard to Philadelphia. Butler was on that flight, sitting across the aisle from longtime teammate Taj Gibson. “It’s always difficult,” Gibson said of his friend being dealt. “But it’s the business. Just gotta roll with the punches.”
MINNEAPOLIS — The Jimmy Butler saga is over in Minnesota. The Timberwolves agreed to trade Butler to Philadelphia on Saturday, Nov. 10, according to a source, ending an odd, two-month drama between the team and its star wing.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Derrick Rose got not one but two celebratory mobbings after scoring 50 points Wednesday night, Oct. 31, in the Timberwolves’ home victory over Utah.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Once Tom Thibodeau said Andrew Wiggins “should be ready” to play Wednesday against the Jazz, the Timberwolves coach was asked whether he’d have his full starting lineup back for the 7 p.m. tip at Target Center. “Well, not necessarily,” he said. Not at all. It was then Thibodeau revealed both Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague would miss the contest against the Jazz.
MINNEAPOLIS — As Taj Gibson watched a Kyle Kuzma 3-point attempt clank off the rim in the third quarter late Monday, Oct. 29, he found himself boxed out for the rebound … by his own teammate. There was Josh Okogie, getting in front of Gibson on the glass. As a deflection sent the ball toward the boundary, Okogie literally sank his butt into Gibson — great form. “It’s me,” Gibson hollered at Okogie. “What are you doing?”
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Lakers rallied from 10 points down with less than five minutes to play Monday night and found themselves trailing the Timberwolves by two with the ball and less than a minute to play. Taj Gibson assumed the Lakers would attempt to get the ball to LeBron James. James got it, but he couldn’t shake Jimmy Butler on a pick and roll and decided to swing it over to Kyle Kuzma on the perimeter. Kuzma was guarded by Gibson.
ST. PAUL - Hill-Murray senior lineman Zach Zarembinski was placed in a medically induced coma last weekend after collapsing during a Pioneers football game, according to a GoFundMe page setup for Zarembinski and his family. Zarembinski took himself off the field during Hill-Murray’s 28-0 loss to St. Paul Johnson in a Class 4A, Section 3 semifinal Saturday, Oct. 27, and collapsed shortly after. “He came to the sideline, and things just kind of went downhill from there,” Hill-Murray coach Pete Bercich said Saturday.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings moved the ball on each of their final two drives during Sunday night’s 30-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints. It just took far too much time to do it. Minnesota’s offense took the field trailing 30-13 with less than 10 minutes left, and proceeded to go on a 13-play, 75 yard drive that ate up more than five minutes of clock. So while the Vikings cut the deficit to two scores, it took them more than half of the remaining time to do so.