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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Notes, Quotes 2008-08-29

Minnesota Timberwolves Notes, Quotes 2008-08-29

Minnesota Timberwolves Notes, Quotes 2008-08-29
--His health willing this time, Kevin Garnett -- and Wolves fans -- won't have to wait long for that delayed first Target Center appearance to arrive this season. Garnett and his NBA champion Celtics are due in town on Friday, Nov. 21, the highlight in an opening month full of them.

--The Wolves open their regular season at home for the eighth consecutive year when Sacramento arrives on Oct. 29. The ensuing month will include visits from Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs, Tim Duncan and the Spurs, awaited rookie Greg Oden and Portland, Elton Brand and his new team the Sixers, Garnett, Steve Nash and the Suns and Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and the Nuggets before November is out.

--LeBron James' lone visit is Dec. 17. O.J. Mayo, a Timberwolf for about on five hours on draft night, and Memphis come to Target Center on Dec. 29 and March 11.

--On the one-year anniversary of the blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston and reshaped the Timberwolves' future, the team on July 31 named: Houston Rockets personnel guy Dean Cooper to replace assistant coach Bob Ociepka on Randy Wittman's coaching staff. Ociepka left to join new Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro's staff.

A former high-school and college coach, Cooper last was on the bench in 2003 for the final of his two seasons as an assistant to Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich. Since then, he has been an NBA personnel scout, scouting director and vice president of player personnel for the Rockets.

He interviewed with Wittman at last month's NBA Summer League in Las Vegas after Wittman and Kevin McHale inquired about his interest in the position and asked the Rockets for permission to speak to him. He is good friends with Texas Tech coach Pat Knight, son of Bob Knight, who coached Wittman in college at Indiana. Cooper credits that relationship and joint pre-draft workouts the Rockets and the Wolves held together in June for the connection that led to the job offer.

"Things in the NBA sometimes happen quickly and they come when you least expect it," Cooper said from Houston on Thursday. "I wasn't looking for a job. I coached my entire life (until he moved into the Rockets' personnel department). Once a coach, always a coach."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It hasn't been a long, long process, but to me it was long enough." -- F Ryan Gomes, who re-signed with the Wolves nearly a month after he became a free agent on July 1.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: August 29, 2008


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