Sometimes even the unthinkable can happen. When I arrived at our NBA shoot-around today I learned that Mike Montgomery was going to be name head mens basketball coach at Stanford archrival: UC Berkeley. Of course I called him to congratulate him but it went to voicemail right away so I left him a message–I left that message grudgingly.
All I can remember about UC Berkeley is hostility. One time one of our walk on players from the East Bay almost got into an altercation with a UC Berkeley fan even before the game started! I think the fan threatened a lawsuit or someting. Then last year someone actually hijacked my Gmail email account! The sad thing was that I could see when he was online through the “Chat” functionality from another one of my gmail accounts. I “chatted” with him online to my “old” account and threatened to get the FBI, CIA and every law enforcement agency possible on his tail unless he gave me back my account. Finally he releneted and sent me a message: “You can have your email account back, the new password is “UCBerkeley.”
So maybe you can see why I’m confused about Mike going over there. It’s just a bunch of low lifes over there at Cal.
Of course I’m kidding. While I’m serious about the email hijacking, Cal is an awesome place and a world class institution. I was excited about maybe going there myself, but then they kind of stopped recruiting me. One of my best high school teammates went there an loved it. Actually one of my first text messages was to my brother in law who is doing a UC Berkely PHD. I told him I was mad that his school was stealing our old coach!
In fairness I think it’s great for everyone, and I think that the San Francisco Bay Area is going to have some great basketball in the coming years. Trent Johnson is one of the real rising stars in the college game and one of the best minds I’ve ever had the privilege of playing for (he was assistant coach at Stanford while I played there.). Now you’ve got Trent at Stanford, Mike over at Cal and a lot of great recruits comign out of Northern California. UC Berkeley just took a major step in the right direction in getting back to the levels of Pete Newell and Jason Kidd.
Today we are in Phoenix getting ready for what should be a very big game against the Pacific Division leading Suns this evening. They have an outstanding team this year, despite losing Amare Stoudemire to an injury early in the preseason. That just goes to show you what a great player Steve Nash has become while making his case for back-to-back MVP awards.
As you know, lately we have been struggling a little bit and really need to win this one tonight to snap a three-game losing streak and get the ship righted. If we get a win in the desert, we will have some momentum going back to Minnesota for a five-game home stand prior to the All-Star break. I can’t put a finger on it exactly, but I think we are struggling some because we just don’t know each other as players yet. We’ve added four new dynamic players to the team during the middle of the season, and I believe we’re still trying to get integrated with each other. I really think that as we get more games and practices under our belts, that eventually you are going to see a well-oiled machine emerge.
Our loss at Golden State was pretty tough on everyone, but the positive thing is what happened the next day. Everyone came to practice in Phoenix and went so hard, that it felt like a playoff game. I would be worried about us if everyone came to practice depressed and sad but it was just the opposite. Guys came in ready to play as hard as they possibly could.
On a personal note, it was interesting to be back in my homeland of the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend. I grew up going to Golden State Warriors games and lived about 30 minutes from the Oakland Coliseum. Then I was at Stanford for four years, which is about 45 minutes from Oakland. After the game Saturday, one of the guys who did construction on my parents’ house growing up came out of the stands to say hello. His name is Rod, and it was just really great to see him. I left some tickets for a few of my college teammates who are still in the area. It was fun to hear about what they are each doing professionally. One of them is the head coach at a local private high school and another one started up his own brokerage business for Internet domain names, which is a booming industry. A third teammate started a clothing line. It was a blast to see old friends and to hear about the great things that they are doing.
Right now I’m about ready to order room service and then take my pregame nap. Did you all enjoy watching the Super Bowl? I thought the game was pretty entertaining, and turned on a few big Pittsburgh plays. I would assume that I’m like a lot of people who watch the game partly because the commercials will be entertaining, even if the game isn’t. I would say my favorite ad was the FedEx commercial with the cavemen trying to deliver the package with the pterodactyl and then getting stomped by a dinosaur outside the cave. Write me and let me know what your favorite ads were.
I am always open to suggestions as to what Timberwolves fans want me to write about. If you have a topic suggestion or a question you want me to answer, please feel free to drop me a note firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great week.