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Old 08-18-05, 09:30 AM
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Cassel Bitter about trade, says Wolves will be at the bottom again

Last update: August 18, 2005 at 8:15 AM
Timberwolves: Minnesota will miss him, Cassell says
Steve Aschburner, Star Tribune
August 18, 2005 WOLF0818
http://www.startribune.com/stories/511/5566039.html


Former Timberwolves point guard Sam Cassell, traded last week to the Los Angeles Clippers, envisions a great season for himself in 2005-06 and a really, really long one for his former team.

"They're going to be at the bottom again," said Cassell, predicting in a telephone interview Wednesday that the lowly Clippers -- who haven't reached the playoffs since 1997 or won a postseason game since 1994 -- will pass the Wolves in the Western Conference standings.

Cassell also took a poke at one of the Minnesota franchise's most sensitive spots: "I know for a fact that Kevin Garnett is disappointed. Kevin wants some guys he can go to war with."

Garnett, the Wolves' eight-time NBA All-Star and cornerstone player, has made himself unavailable for interviews since before the regular season ended in April. That has left fans guessing about Garnett's reaction to the hiring of new head coach Dwane Casey, the drafting of lottery pick Rashad McCants, the apparent decision not to re-sign Latrell Sprewell and now the trade of Cassell.

Sam CassellCarlos GonzalezStar TribuneCassell, a 12-year veteran, was packaged to the Clippers with the Wolves' 2006 first-round draft pick for guards Marko Jaric and Lionel Chalmers. Jaric, 26, is nearly nine years younger than Cassell, four inches taller and more inclined to distribute the ball and defend his position. But Cassell's career scoring average (16.5 ppg) is almost double Jaric's, he is known as one of the game's best and gutsiest mid-range shooters and, two years ago, Cassell became a first-time All-Star while helping the Wolves reach the conference championship round.

"If they think Marko Jaric is a replacement for me, they're out of their minds," Cassell said of the Wolves management. "I'm happy for him. I'm happy he got paid. But that's not an upgrade. As players, we know."

Actually, Cassell didn't sound entirely pleased that Jaric, in the sign-and-trade transaction, landed a six-year, $37.9 million deal. Last fall, Cassell pressed the Wolves for a contract extension, seeking an added two years worth about $14.5 million.

"Six years? Forty million?" Cassell said. "Yeah, right. Yeah, right."

Cassell had a quick up-and-down stay with the Wolves. Acquired in June 2003, he turned in his best season at age 34, averaging a career-high 19.8 points, hitting 49 percent of his shots and landing on the All-NBA second team. The Wolves won a franchise-best 58 games, earned the No. 1 seed and might have reached the Finals if Cassell's left hip injury hadn't hobbled him against the Lakers.

Last season, post-surgery rehab cut into Cassell's offseason workouts. He skipped the first two days of training camp to show his displeasure with his contract. Then he strained his right hamstring, an injury that nagged him to a career-low 59 games. Cassell averaged 13.5 points, his lowest output in 10 years, and disliked having to come off the bench once Kevin McHale took over as coach. The Wolves missed the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

"Minnesota never got out of the first round until I got there," Cassell said. "Then when I got hurt, everybody knew [my value]. I don't take things personally. I know I was accused [of selfishness]. Spree and I came in as 'rebels.' But they had to blame somebody."

Late last season, team owner Glen Taylor did call the acquisitions of Cassell and Sprewell "a failed experiment." But McHale, General Manager Jim Stack and teammates never publicly cited those two as the cause of the lottery plunge.

"Sam came in, did a great job for us and brought a lot of success to the franchise," Stack said. "Then last year, things didn't work out so well. We felt Marko could help us, and we wouldn't have been able to get a guy of his caliber if Sam wasn't involved.

"It's a tough deal. When things don't go well, and guys are out there saying, 'I need this, I need that' and making tough statements, they kind of bring the microscope on themselves."

As for Cassell's claim that Garnett was unhappy with the trade, Stack said: "You want your best player on board with what you're trying to do. Kevin, generally, when things are not going the way he wants, he's pretty vocal about it. And I have not heard anything."

Wolves insiders have said that Garnett, on learning of Cassell's departure, was disappointed to lose another friend from the roster but has not expressed basketball concerns.

Basketball? Cassell's primary concern again might be business. The Clippers have a history of not extending players' deals and, in fact, might have acquired Cassell because his $6.1 salary comes off the books next spring. He still has not reported for his physical, though he has been scrimmaging informally in Houston.

"I'm going to have a hell of a year," Cassell said. "That's not even my concern. I just wish it was with my main man, Kevin Garnett. We made each other better. He made me an All-Star; I made him an MVP."
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Old 08-18-05, 09:32 AM
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awww so it was Cassel who made KG an MVP...

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Old 08-18-05, 09:40 AM
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Old 08-18-05, 09:42 AM
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How does Cassell get his head through doorways??????????? What a clown...
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Old 08-18-05, 09:45 AM
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wow, his bitterness about being traded is right up there with Snaq's.
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Old 08-18-05, 09:48 AM
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my precioooooouuuussss!!!
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Old 08-18-05, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomBear
awww so it was Cassel who made KG an MVP...

well, yes i really think he did help garnett with an mvp.
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Old 08-18-05, 09:55 AM
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The Cassell for Jaric deal makes sense, but I just don't understnad why the Wolves had to give up a number 1 pick in the deal. I am not sure Jaric has shown the skills in the NBA that makes him worth a starting PG (when healthy) AND a number 1 pick. Plus, with Minny losing all of those picks over the years, one would think they would want to hold onto what the picks they now have.
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Old 08-18-05, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Rod
wow, his bitterness about being traded is right up there with Snaq's.
Or Flaker Fans...

LOTTERY!!!

BYNUM!!!

KWAME!!

Mitch is giving Isiah a run for his money at the "worst gm in any professional sports Period" award.

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Old 08-18-05, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
awww so it was Cassel who made KG an MVP...
I actualy think he had a big part of that. He had his best season ever and put up huge numbers. That helped the Wolves win a franchise best 58 games and the #1 seed. And we all know that team wins and the place they end up mean a lot when your looking for the MVP, especially a close race. And I also believe that Cassell was the main reason they got out of the 1st round, and to the WCF, without Cassell there is no way they make it that far, he is like Horry and hits huge shots in the playoffs. I remember Cassell pretty much single handedly winning games for the Wolves in the 4th quarter of close games during thier playoff run. They are going to miss him badly, especially when they get knocked out of the first round, that is if they make it to the playoffs.
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Old 08-18-05, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bo spur
I actualy think he had a big part of that. He had his best season ever and put up huge numbers. That helped the Wolves win a franchise best 58 games and the #1 seed. And we all know that team wins and the place they end up mean a lot when your looking for the MVP, especially a close race. And I also believe that Cassell was the main reason they got out of the 1st round, and to the WCF, without Cassell there is no way they make it that far, he is like Horry and hits huge shots in the playoffs. I remember Cassell pretty much single handedly winning games for the Wolves in the 4th quarter of close games during thier playoff run. They are going to miss him badly, especially when they get knocked out of the first round, that is if they make it to the playoffs.
I agree with this. Sam Cassell was vital to the Wolves succes in 03-04. He was great that year, I had an arguement one time with someone because I felt there was a point in the season that Cassell was the Wolves MVP moreso than KG because of the way he ran the team. He was putting up ridiculous numbers as well.
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Old 08-18-05, 10:56 AM
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You guys realize that Cassell has never been a free agent in his career right?

He's always settling for those few years extensions which is often below the market value. He's too impatient to wait out his contract, just like last year with Minny.
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Old 08-18-05, 11:04 AM
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the Wolves will be near the bottom. What a mess
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Old 08-18-05, 11:07 AM
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The will be at the bottom and Garnett is stuck there for four more years. Tell me he is not going to start demanding some things.
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Old 08-18-05, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chauphan
well, yes i really think he did help garnett with an mvp.
Yes there is no doubt that him and Spreewell helped with him getting the mvp but Cassel is taking all of the credit for KG winning the mvp...
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Old 08-18-05, 11:12 AM
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Clippers have already put out the Cassell boobleheads for sale:
-Sincerely
Charles Barkley.


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Old 08-18-05, 05:41 PM
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This has been Cassell's story, never happy, always a lockerroom problem, and eventually he gets dumped. Cassell has never really had a bad bad year except when injuries slow him down.
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Old 08-18-05, 05:57 PM
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How can someone so nasty looking have a nasty personality as well??
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Old 08-18-05, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan$$$
How can someone so nasty looking have a nasty personality as well??
Easy, he probably learned very early on that his looks didn't match his personality SO,

he changed his looks to match his innerself. Or was it the other way around?

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Old 08-18-05, 07:34 PM
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I dont blame Cassell for being pissed.....


.....HE'S A CLIPPER!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-18-05, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
I dont blame Cassell for being pissed.....
.....HE'S A CLIPPER!!!!!!!!!
Yup the end is near for him
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Old 08-18-05, 07:44 PM
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ouch....bitter indeed. Cassel was/is a great player, but I think he's a little full of himself if he thinks he was responsible for KGs MVP. You could make a case that he might not be in MVP contention if it weren't for his addition to the team...but to say he made him a MVP is going too far.
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