Now that the Timberwolves have been eliminated from playoff contention, we can turn our attention to the really exciting stuff. Like, how is Latrell Sprewell going to feed his family next year? Who will coach Minnesota in 2005-2006? How did they make Kevin Garnett so tiny in those Best Buy commericals? And most thrillingly of all, what lucky team will give Wally Szcerbiak a chance to start?
(the hectic NBA lifestyle makes it dificult for Wally to stay in touch with the other members of NKOTB).
Szczerbiak said he knows his name will come up in trade talks this offseason, and he didn’t seem averse to the idea, although he didn’t welcome it.
Still, his future with the Wolves is uncertain, like those of a few other players. But one thing is clear: Szczerbiak is reluctant to return to the team in the same capacity next season.
“That’s what ticked me off this year,” he said. “I worked my butt off in the offseason and in training camp, and earned a starting position. And for the betterment of the team, I went to the bench.”
Szczerbiak scored 16 points off the bench Sunday at Target Center in the Wolves’ 109-94 loss to Seattle. He made 8 of 15 shots in 30 minutes, flashing the scoring that made him an all-star in 2001-02.
He was named a starter out of training camp, but when the club struggled, he accepted a reserve role because team officials thought that would be best. He has come off the bench in his past 28 games.
Asked if he would request a trade, he paused for a moment and said: “I don’t know; we’ll see. I’m just going to go about my business. I’d like to start in this league, and when a guy earns a starting job and then it gets it taken away and then the season turns out the way it did, that’s kind of disheartening.”
Szczerbiak has statistical evidence to back up his claim on a starting spot. He entered the Seattle game shooting 50.6 percent, 16th in the NBA, and was averaging 15.6 points a game.