View Full Version : Where's Spree???

Usually Lurkin
10-03-2003, 08:08 AM
Let me tell you, this article is on paper. And it shows why, even on paper, the new and improved Twolves still aren't as good as the mavs.

Where's Spree???

MIKE WELLS , Pioneer Press

The picture was meant for six players, but only five showed up.

Kevin Garnett, Wally Szczerbiak, Michael Olowo-kandi, Troy Hudson and Sam Cassell lined up for what was supposed to be a six-person photo. The group had to settle for five because Latrell Sprewell was nowhere to be found.

On a day meant to show off the new-and-improved Timberwolves, Sprewell, a key offseason acquisition, was AWOL for the team's media day at Target Center, and Olowokandi is bothered by a knee injury.

The reason for Sprewell's absence was unknown. Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Thursday that Sprewell was driving from his hometown of Milwaukee at the same time the team's media day was going on. It's uncertain if the team will fine him. Sprewell's agent, Robert Gist, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

"You just don't judge anybody until they show up on that type of stuff," Taylor said.

Thursday's incident joins a long list of incidents in Sprewell's troubled career. He is best known for choking then-Golden State coach P.J. Carlesimo after a practice during the 1997-98 season. Sprewell was fined in April 2002 after missing a morning shoot-around in Miami. Last season, Sprewell showed up at the New York Knicks' training camp with a broken hand.

Even with his history, Sprewell, acquired in July from the Knicks in a four-team trade, was said to be popular with teammates and fans and cooperative with the New York media.

"This is a question we had asked New York, and they said he has been on time," Taylor said. "He has come to practice on time; that was their response. They told me he didn't have a history of being one of the people they are waiting for."

Sprewell is expected to be a major contributor for the Wolves this season. His career scoring average is 19.1 points a game; he played in the NBA Finals in 1999 with the Knicks.

Meanwhile, the Wolves will open training camp without Olowokandi, who could be out several weeks after having surgery on his knee last month to relieve irritation from previous surgery.

"It's to get the swelling out of it," Olowokandi said. "I have a good degree strength in it, which you usually have to work at to get swelling down. As soon as the swelling goes down, I'll be good to go."

Olowokandi, who signed with the Wolves as a free agent after spending his first five years with the Los Angeles Clippers, remains optimistic he will be ready by the time the season opens Oct. 29. He is expected to be the Wolves' starting center.

Olowokandi averaged just 9.9 points in his first five seasons, but he likely will bring a better defensive presence in the middle than Rasho Nesterovic, who left to sign with the San Antonio Spurs.

"I'm excited about being here and getting the chance to help this team," Olowokandi said. "I'm going to be limited in practice, but I'm going to make sure my knee is all ready to go when the season starts."

Briefly: Taylor said he has not been approached in some time about buying the Vikings.

"Quite frankly, I don't expect anything," he said. "They started (the season) off good; I think a person like (owner) Red (McCombs) is going to stay involved. When they're winning, it's fun to be involved. Last year they were for sale. I'm not aware of anybody, and nobody has called me."

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