What’s one concrete basketball thing you have taken from Flip Saunders, after playing for him and then working with him? Honestly? The big thing is relationships. Flip was so good at having a feel for how you were doing. If you were struggling, he’d come put his arm around you. I remember he came back and talked to me for half an hour on a trip home one time, just to make sure I was doing OK. He has such a great feel in that respect.
We were playing a team in college that played a matchup zone. I went up to visit him to see if I could spend half an hour with him, just for some advice on the zone, and he ended up spending the whole day with me. We had a morning session, we had lunch, and then we had an afternoon session. To take the time like that, and go out of his way — he’d do anything for people he was close to.
“I really don’t care. I didn’t see it, but they told me about it when I got here,” forward Corey Brewer said. “It’s his opinion, man. People out there have opinions. He said what he wanted to say. Who cares?” I was talking to Brewer alone, so I pressed him a little. But you don’t agree with him, I said with a laugh. “I don’t agree. Of course, why would I agree? It’s stupidity, but it’s his opinion,” Brewer said.
The Minneapolis City Council has approved an agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx to renovate the Target Center, one of the NBA’s oldest venues. The $97 million renovation of the 23-year-old, city-owned Target Center includes a redesign of the outdated exterior, additional clubs and gathering spaces, as well as improved traffic flow. The Timberwolves and Lynx will pay $43 million toward the project. The city will contribute $48.5 million and building manager Anschutz Entertainment Group Facilities will pay $5.5 million. As part of the deal, the Timberwolves will extend their lease at Target Center through 2032. The design of the building will take place this winter, with construction expected to begin after the 2013-14 Timberwolves season.
Devean George wants to bring a sense of hope to the north Minneapolis intersection of Golden Valley Road and Penn Avenue. The Minneapolis native, former Augsburg College star and NBA player is taking aim at the same stretch of neighborhood where he grew up dribbling a basketball and later witnessed a random drive-by killing of an 11-year-old boy that shook the city. The change will come in the form of 45 affordable housing units, built on top of an outreach program for community youth that he calls George’s Building Blocks.
“It’s all about collaboration. That’s what this plan is. Everyone building blocks one at a time,” said George, who played alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal after becoming the first Division III player selected in the NBA draft’s first round. “From Morgan Avenue to Queen Avenue. We’ll start on this corner, and from there, harmony.”
Near the end of his playing career, George had a vision for his future. It included real estate and bettering people’s lives. “I wanted to become a person that helped people. There are a lot of people that suffer that aren’t involved in the bad stuff going on,” said George, 35. “I figured out that playing basketball was not the end goal. I figured out that me playing basketball was probably just to set up for what I’m doing now. It is more of me being put in position to be able to help people and have a voice.”