By Jerry Zgoda
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, never a man at a loss for words or a candid answer, was asked Tuesday morning at the team’s annual photo shoot why the Wolves are winning now — four of their last six — with extra NBA draft lottery chances on the line after they seemingly did everything they could the last two seasons to lose and keep their protected draft pick from the Clippers.
“I don’t like that so much, I don’t like that,” Taylor said of the notion the Wolves tanked last season. “It was more like, I’d say, K.G. tanked it.”
Taylor said Garnett took himself out of the lineup with five games to play last season for what the team called an injured quadriceps muscle.
“The other guys still wanted to play and stuff like this here,” Taylor said. “But it sure changed the team. It didn’t make us as (good). We wanted to play Randy (Foye) and some of the other younger guys. But this year, if they win, they win.”
Garnett’s agent, Andy Miller, called Taylor’s comments “without merit.”
He said there is “general consensus” among basketball people “as as far as K.G.’s effort and competitiveness and drive for team success is concerned. Nothing has everbeen more of a priority than winning for Kevin Garnett. I don’t think anyone would question that unless they had an agenda.”
Taylor said it’s important for his team to win as often as it can in the season’s final weeks for the players and the fans.
“I think we have to show the fans that there is a plan,” he said. “That we’re going to improve and you can see where we were and you can see where we’re going and that next year we should be a better team.”
Taylor said the organization should do nothing to rein in a young, growing team.
“This is not about winning and losing,” he said. “I said that at the beginning. It’s just how you’re going to play. I don’t want to change at all. We have the young guys out there. I don’t know how you’d lose. You’d have to put the veteran guys (back in there).”