Lead-er!: Timberwolves Captains Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes Finally Speaking Up

Timber WolfAnalyst IIAugust 12, 2009

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 01:  Head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics talks to Al Jefferson #25 of Minnesota Timberwolves after the game on February 1, 2009 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Al Jefferson has been named the captain of the team, and his predecessor...Ryan Gomes.

Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes were included from the Kevin Garnett trade along with Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair and Theo Ratliff. They are the only two that remains. Now we know, who Kevin Garnett was traded for...A captain and a co-captain.

I never liked Randy Wittman as a coach. Randy Wittman was the coach that was fired as a result of Kevin McHale coaching.

Randy Wittman did say that "Al Jefferson was not a true leader." While I did agree upon that one month ago, the injury to Al Jefferson has humbled him once again, and the silent beast is going to make a rupture.

In the interviews with Al Jefferson, he stresses being a leader on and off the court. And now with his new coach, he's ready for training camp to start, and he's ready to get even better than he was before.

He feels that his knee is getting stronger, and if playing in a halfcourt set, "He could kill you."


Al Jefferson on a Run-n-gun style of play:

"I'm never concerned about the style of game he's playing not going to involve me. That's not what I'm thinking about. What I'm thinking about is getting this knee back to where it need to be so I can be out there with my teammates."

It seems all about business. The Al Jefferson who jokes around with his teammates on a night in and night out basis, has completely taken a new angle to being a leader.

He now appears that he will take nothing but perfection. He basically states that "no matter who's our coach, or who David Kahn puts in front of us, it is up to us to go out there and win the games. It's always up to us, we're the one's playing."

But despite the fact that the Timberwolves are once again rebuilding. Al Jefferson has stated "I'm done rebuilding and no hard work." He states that if we rebuild, then whoever's here has to play hard. "We cannot come out here and say it's ok to lose games when we're going to win in a year."

Al Jefferson stated that he's going to be ready to run soon, and he knew that once he drafted Flynn and Rubio.

Al Jefferson is serious about getting better. While he could not run, he was working on his body. He's been talking to Kevin Love about some things, and said he's ready to be the true face of the franchise.

I don't know if he can become that, but I like the enthusiasm.

Ryan Gomes has undergone a transformation this offseason, too. Rumor has it that he was in the gym just a few days after the season was over, working on his game.


Ryan Gomes on a strong commitment player development

"I think it's very exciting. Over the last two years, the players that have been here that are still here—including myself, Al (Jefferson) and Corey (Brewer) and Kevin Love—obviously, we haven't figured out the way that it's supposed to be done for us to be successful. So with them talking about player development, that's going to be a huge key to help us find something in ourselves that we might not even have noticed yet.

"We are still young in our careers, even though I'm going into my fifth (season), Corey's going into his third, Kevin's only going into his second, it's time to turn it up a notch and time to go in the right direction."

Ryan Gomes has always been the one to be quiet and hang behind the scenes. When the Timberwolves get's mentioned in other articles, Gomes is never brought up. Despite a solid 13 points a game contribution to go along with 5 boards and 2 assists, he's never brought up.

Ryan Gomes has never been a go-to-guy, and he's never had a responsibility of scoring big numbers...Until Al Jefferson went down with a ACL injury. He averaged 16 points during that stretch, and shot 43 percent from the field, proving that even without Al Jefferson and Randy Foye, he was able to score.

He's added a newbound confidence and now has the role of co-captain. That ultimately means that he will take on a heavier offensive role, and while Corey Brewer was injured, Ryan Gomes was assigned the toughest offensive opponent. He's had blurs of locking them down at times.

With a lock-down defender in Gomes, a tall beast of a point guard in Rubio, and Ryan Hollins playing backup center and power forward for 20 minutes, the Wolves look like a solid defensive team. If Corey Brewer can make a breakthrough, then it's looking extremely nice.

"We know we're in a tough conference. But the coaches that we do have and the coaching staff we've been accustomed to the last few years are trying to push us in the right direction and hopefully find something that we've been missing in each other and then pass it on to the next player and hopefully as a group, we can become successful."

There have been rumors floating around, about Ryan Gomes saying that he want's to become an All-Star. While that's a stretch of the imagination, he was taken with the 60th pick in the draft, because he had "a hard-nosed work ethic."

Anything is possible for a small forward with power forward moves.

Ryan Gomes has been working on penetration and dribbling this offseason. If he get's those down pat, then the Wolves have a solid go-to-guy to score. Ryan Gomes has stated that he likes the new responsibility and is going to utilize it.


I'm proud of the two captains of the Minnesota Timberwolves squad. They know they are going to have to be leaders if they are going to play with potentially three rookies.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. I cannot wait for Rubio, he needs to be here this season...