By Jerry Zgoda
Comedian Bill Bellamy, host of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” show, was in town on Tuesday morning for other business, so he stopped by Target Center — or “home of the Timberwolves” as he called it on camera so as not to give a non-sponsor a plug — to tape some bits and other nonsense with Ryan Gomes, Randy Foye and assistant coach Ed Pinckney.
He arrived wearing fur-lined tundra boots and before he switched into sneakers, somebody said if Gerald Green really wanted to impress with a dunk, he’d do a between-the-legs windmill slam wearing those boots rather than just stocking-footed, as he did in Saturday’s NBA All-Star slam dunk contest in New Orleans.
“Gerald Green?” Bellamy asked. “Cupcake plays for this team? Cupcake’s here?…Is he a starter?”
Green blew out the candle on a cupcake set against the back of the rim in the contest. He has been prickly lately about doing interviews regarding the slam-dunk contest, apparently because he’s wants to be known for his on-court play — of which there has been precious little this season — rather than strictly his dunking skills. He declined a request to talk to reporters after Monday night’s practice and left at the arena’s far end just after shootaround before Bellamy had a chance to corral “Cupcake.”
Bellamy got some shooting tips from Gomes, tips he apparently can use judging by his low shooting percentage when he fired up shot after shot from the baseline until he finally made a 17-footer while his camera crew taped away.
He told Gomes he was in town to find a comedian who’d “put Minnesota on the map.”
“All you have is Al Franken and Louie Anderson,” said Bellamy, who apparently classifies Franken, running for the U.S. Senate, as more comic and less politician.
“I’m not a comedian,” Gomes said when asked if he was auditioning for a second career.
“I can’t do that.”
Foye walked off the court after the morning shootaround laughing.
“That dude’s funny right there,” Foye said.
Also Tuesday: Randy Wittman debuted a new starting lineup against the Philadelphia 76ers, putting Randy Foye in there for the first time this season at shooting guard with point guard Sebastian Telfair in a configuration you might have imagined when the Wolves made the Kevin Garnett deal last summer: Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Telfair (all three players acquired from Boston in the deal), 2006 first-round pick Foye and 2007 first-round pick Corey Brewer.
Tuesday morning, Theo Ratliff said he was hopeful he’d get the OK to return to play some against the 76ers, but coach Randy Wittman said that while Ratliff is progressing, it’s still too soon. Ratliff was scratched along with Michael Doleac (sporting a freshly shaved head) and Mark Madsen.