Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Laettner Begins to Bloom

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Laettner Begins to Bloom

Article excerpt

On the day the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Timberwolves both returned from the road, the cab driver was discussing the state of Minnesota's winter sports franchises.

"I can't get Channel 4 on my TV, so I didn't even see the Lions game," he said.

"Your TV is to be congratulated. You missed nothing," I replied.

"I can't see the Vikings doing much. I don't know," he said. "At least the Timberwolves look like they're doing a little better."

He snickered.

"By the time they move to San Diego they might be pretty good. This Laettner guy, though. He's got to get himself a bleeping haircut. And what about that headband? What's the deal with that?"

Attention, Twin Cities: As tempting as it is to fixate on the Laettner coiffure and fashion props, it is time to stop. It is time to start paying attention to the kind of serious basketball he is playing. At the beginning of his rookie season, it was predicted here that Laettner would be an All-Star within three years.

People laughed. That is now a mortal lock. Hey, it could happen even sooner.

"I'd have to say this is the best ball he's played," said Wolves coach Sidney Lowe. "He's scoring and passing, and he's rebounding like a bear. We still want him to shoot that open jumper when it's there and not wait. I know he'd rather drive to the hole, but the more he takes that jumper, the more it will open up the inside for him. We still need to work on the turnovers."

Details, details. The Wolves recently completed their most successful road trip ever, not that this posed the ultimate challenge. The most games the Wolves ever had won on a trip: two. But it was not difficult to figure out the No. 1 reason the Wolves were able to take three of four on the West Coast.

It was not J.R. Rider being inserted into the starting linup on his return to the Bay Area. It was not Micheal Williams hitting a layup at the buzzer against the Lakers. It was not Luc Longley being banished to the bench, as much as some people want to bury the large Aussie. …

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