This week in City Pages: Wolves owner Glen Taylor speaks out

Categories: Timberwolves
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On Wednesday--that's tomorrow night for online readers--the CP cover story will be Britt Robson's pre-season interview with the remarkably candid Glen Taylor. Here's a short excerpt, on the subject of last year's trade of Wally Szczerbiak to Boston.

City Pages: What about the deal with Boston? Because I heard different things. I heard Banks was the key to it. Some people were saying the key was Ricky Davis because of his quickness and his ability to play defense and get up and down the floor on offense. But the one that really got to me is that you were trading a center who had an expiring contract, Michael Olowakandi, for a center who has a lot of money owed him for a lot of years down the road, Mark Blount. And Blount's skill set is such that it seems you are going to be asking Kevin Garnett to do a lot of the dirty work of rebounding and interior defense.

Glen Taylor: Yeah, I would say that the trade with Boston was pretty complicated. Even the reasons for doing it.

CP: You mean the friction between Garnett and Szczerbiak?

Taylor: I'm just saying there was probably more to it that had to do with Wally that we have chosen not to talk about--that Kevin has never said and we have never said. I am just going to say that no matter what I say, people are going to deny it. But I would say some things came to a head that forced us to get into something we didn't necessarily want to do. I think it would have been pretty dangerous for Kevin McHale not to do the trade. That kind of thing. And that's all I'll say about that.

You also had Michael [Olowakandi], and the Michael thing was festering on the team. It wasn't that Michael went up and down [in his on-court performance]. It was that Michael... Very seldom do you see someone with such poor relationships with the other players, and I am saying all of them. It was just that they could not feel he was a team player.

What we were dealing with, with a new coach, was probably some potential problems in the locker room. And I think we were forced to go out and get the deal we got. It is a little bit like, after you got that deal, you have to go out and manufacture the positives of the deal. So that's why you heard a number of things.

CP: So the deal was more about erasing negatives that creating positives?

Taylor: When we started out. Okay. Ricky [Davis] is a person McHale has always liked. This is not the first time he has tried to get Ricky. He's different from Wally, but I don't know that we dropped down there. We got a lower contract and Wally's contract was going to create a big problem for us later on. And the relationship in the locker room was way better. So we had the [approval] of our players and all that. If we could have done [Szczerbiak-for-Davis] straight up, that would have been a deal. But to get rid of Michael, we had to take Mark. It isn't that we didn't like Mark and didn't want Mark. He's a good player and not a bad guy. But the pay isn't right.

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