Telfair surprised, inspired by the Wolves' point guard bounty in draft
Each summer day, there is time for
"I've got my cousin and my little brother with me and that's what they do for the summer, that's how they get paid," Telfair said in a phone interview this week. "They rebound and count, that's all they've got to do. They hang out at my house, swim all day, eat all day, but they rebound all night also."
Not a bad life. The house Telfair and his wife,
"You don't think Bassy wants to show those guys that you don't just walk into the NBA and have success as a point guard?" a Wolves insider said recently. "After everything he's been through?"
"Those guys" would be
"I knew for sure they would get a guard, but I was a little surprised to see two picks ... go ahead of me," Telfair said, phrasing it as awkwardly as it felt. "I mean, two point guards and I'm there. But the guys that we got, I know they can play basketball. My thing was gaining somebody that can help us win. I talked to
Rubio is an unknown to him, Telfair said, a one-glimpse memory from the Beijing Olympics. Flynn, he's more familiar with from viewing a few Syracuse games. At 18 and 20, respectively, they're relative kids, raw the way he once was. Still, Telfair, 24, is right to take this all personally. Twelve months ago, when he re-upped with Minnesota for $7.5 million (two years plus a player option), he said: "I felt like I got a home." Now his team has spent consecutive lottery picks on his position. It fired
But then, what else is new? Telfair already has played for three franchises; drafted at No. 13 by Portland straight out of Lincoln High in 2004, traded to Boston on draft night in '06, then packaged with four others in the
He might have to stand in line anyway, behind the people who blame him for not being as good as his cousin
In short, it's always something. "I get that feeling sometimes," Telfair said. "But I have to face reality. I think I'm on a steady path now. I think I'm doing the right things. It took me some time, but I think I've got it now. Sometimes you've got to hit the bottom to get to the top."
Telfair had what he considered a steady season in '08-09, bad games standing alone, not stacking up into his bad "spurts" of the past. He averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 assists and 1.95 turnovers while shooting 38.3 percent, but over the final two months boosted his scoring to 12.5 points (on 44 percent). He started 43 games and played 75, second most for him as a pro. He has dedicated himself to improving his game for the second straight summer and, assuming he's around in October, figures to add some mentoring chores the way teammates like
Like a lot of ordinary folks in this job market, Telfair might wind up training his replacements. He'll show Rubio (if he comes over) and Flynn moves they can use or watch and, just as important, share ways to think and carry themselves as point guards.
"It's all competition, but they're not
Time enough for that. In the meantime, Telfair will keep working with two other guys -- cousin