HoopsHype Tony Ronzone rumors

March 1, 2011 Updates

Ronzone said he and Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn plan to return to Barcelona in May to watch the 21-year-old Rubio and Regal FC in the Euroleague playoffs. "We're going over there to support him, not to bother him," Ronzone said. "We don't talk with him that much. It's very important that he sees us, and it's important that the people of Minnesota know we're over there to see him." St. Paul Pioneer Press

Wolves assistant general manager/player personnel Tony Ronzone visited with the flashy point guard, the team's first-round pick in the 2009 NBA draft, during the Spanish Cup tournament in Barcelona last month and said the Spanish phenom told him that he's been keeping up with the Wolves. "He said he knows about our team and he likes our young talent," Ronzone said of Rubio, who is in his second season with Regal FC Barcelona, the defending Euroleague champion and one of the top teams in the Spanish Pro League. "He said he likes (Kevin) Love, (Michael) Beasley and Wes Johnson. He's very in tune with a lot of the NBA players." St. Paul Pioneer Press

February 12, 2011 Updates
October 4, 2010 Updates

It also has carried Ronzone around to the world to more than 70 countries in a playing, coaching and scouting career that started in New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Dubai and has led to such far-flung stops as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, all across China to a teenager named Yao Ming's apartment and even to North Korea. That's where in a meeting after a FIBA clinic Ronzone conducted there, Kim -- North Korea's eminently post-uppable "Supreme Leader" and certifiable basketball junkie -- walked away with a stack of coaching notes, drills and videotapes Ronzone had compiled through the years. "He took all my stuff," Ronzone said, "and he probably still has it." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Ronzone speaks only English and just a few words and phrases in a number of languages he has picked up through the years, and often gets those mixed up. He once told a Spanish kid during a clinic to get his beer under the basket after he apparently switched "cerveza" for "cabeza" (Spanish for head). Minneapolis Star-Tribune

September 13, 2010 Updates

Wolves assistant GM Tony Ronzone -- a scout and member of Team USA's staff since 2007 -- sent a photo of himself and Love celebrating the gold from his cell phone just after the game's end and just before he and Love, at least according to Ronzone's text message, "on our way now to have Diet Coke at the Nike Hospitality room" before catching that middle-of-the-night flight back home to where the NBA season soon awaits. "World Champs for USA," Ronzone texted. "Now TWolves time." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

September 12, 2010 Updates

That will not be easy for the Americans, who will play in an atmosphere here unlike any they have experienced. During Turkey’s last-second semifinal win Saturday, the Turkish fans chanted throughout, blasted artificial noisemakers and went wild when Kerem Tunceri escaped for an easy layup with five-tenths of a second remaining. “Tell them there’s nothing comparable in the States to this,” said Tony Ronzone, USA Basketball’s director of international player personnel. “Nothing. You can’t compare to this crowd and atmosphere. You just saw people in the stands crying that their team won. “The patriotism in this country, you get goose bumps and chills in your body watching it.” New York Times

September 7, 2010 Updates

Jonah Ballow: I talked to Tony Ronzone a couple of days ago and he said that this US team is having to deal with a little bit more of anti-US sentiment during the World Championship because there is a lot of cheering for Brazil and Spain as opposed to what happened in China where everybody pretty much backed USA. What is your sense there as far as the atmosphere and is USA walking into a road building in order to get these victories? Pete Thamel: It’s more of a road building not because of the Turks. Some of these other nations have traveled well and then it becomes like an NCAA tournament scenario, so if it’s Slovenia versus the Americans and you are a neutral fan, who are you going to root for? You are going to root for the underdogs, so that’s what they have up against a little bit. I would say they have not faced a particular hostile atmosphere. I went to Anchor the other night to cover Turkey versus Greece and that was a hostile atmosphere. If they play Turkey here, it will be a hostile atmosphere. There’s been pinches of it, a couple of loud crowds but nothing overwhelming that I would really think changed the dynamics of the games. I would say that the crowds have been fairly timid. NBA.com

Q Have you been able to see Ricky Rubio play much? A I saw him play twice in Madrid, including a (exhibition) game we played against Spain. (Defensive) pressure does not affect him. He runs the team unselfishly. He's very humble and has a great passion for the game. Kevin got a chance to spend some time with Ricky after the game. It was great to see two future teammates together like that. Ricky knew him very well. Q How is second-round pick Nemanja Bjelica playing with Serbia? A He's not putting up big numbers, but this is intense competition. He's young [22], he needs to get stronger. But he's in a great situation: He's here in the Sweet 16 with Serbia, and he's going to a great team that won Spanish league for the next two seasons. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

September 6, 2010 Updates
August 27, 2010 Updates

One reason things have gone so smoothly for the Americans is their opponents’ choice of defense. They have essentially abstained from playing zone. It’s striking that the United States has played more zone than its opponents because zones have long been the Kryptonite of American international teams. “We haven’t seen it all,” said Tony Ronzone, who is Team USA’s director of international player personnel. “We’re expecting it. Everyone just saves it. I could see us playing against a lot of junk defenses.” New York Times

August 26, 2010 Updates

The big difference is the U.S. has tried to win the World Championship, to varying degrees. It just hasn't been good enough since 1994. The U.S. rarely fields its best offering of talent, as is the case again this year with the "B team" having no returnees from the 2008 Olympics' "Redeem Team." The U.S. has not even made the World Championship gold-medal game since 1994, hitting rock bottom in 2002 with a sixth-place finish in front of sparse crowds in Indianapolis. "Other nations feel like this is the biggest basketball event," said USA Basketball director of international player personnel Tony Ronzone, the Minnesota Timberwolves' general manager and longtime Valley resident. "In America, we just don't grasp it like them. It's like the World Cup of soccer to them. It's a big, big deal. These countries take a lot of pride. It's the letters in the front, not the back." Arizona Republic

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