Dime: On a team as young as Minnesota, you’re a bit of a veteran now. So how did the lockout affect your preparation?
MB: The only thing that’s different is the road trips and you only get a one-day trip. The fact we’re playing every day is cool for me because I love to play. At times, yeah it feels like summer. Right now I honestly still feel fresh. I sat for 11 games so that has a lot to do with it, but you work hard in the summertime conditioning-wise and you play every day to get in shape. We’re only six or seven weeks in.
Dime: Coach Rick Adelman likes to run, but do you still feel like you’re learning his system as a team?
MB: We’re still learning it. We’re not going to get it overnight. So far we’ve progressed and we definitely got better since the first day of training camp.
Dime: It has to be fun in that system, or any other, to play with guards like Ricky Rubio, Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea.
MB: It’s different. I’ve always been a create-my-own-shot type of guy, but when you got guys like that with Ricky and Rid who have six-plus assists it’s kind of different. You don’t have to wait for them to do something but be ready. Early on I got caught off guard a couple times, but I’m trying to get some time with Rubio.
Dime: What about adjusting to the language or European style of play with Rubio?
MB: He makes the game easy. Only thing you have to focus on is getting ready. It might look like he’s going up for a shot, and next thing you know you’ve got the ball coming at you at 90 miles per hour. Only thing you gotta do is get ready.
Dime: How did you spend the time away with the foot injury?
MB: I watched the games and then analyzed them after the game on video, too. Mostly, where I can get my shots and where I can get my rebounds.
Dime: What about your game before the injury? Were you happy with its progression?
MB: There are a lot of areas I need to get better at. Ballhandling being one of them. There’s a lot I need to get better at, but I feel like I’ve gotten better since my rookie year.
Dime: While your game has changed a bit, specifically with less isolation this year, it seems like you’ve grown up off the court, too. Has that been the case?
MB: The past is in the past for me. I’ve grown to accept my faults and I’m never going there again. I’m just excited about the season and how good our young team could be.
Dime: Anything you really wanted to show people this season?
MB: Just to prove that I’m still me. I don’t want to prove to anyone, I just want to play basketball. I know I can make my teammates better. I’m just going to prove to my teammates and myself that I’m a winner and can make my team a winner.
Dime: You talked about the attitude of the team. Does being a young squad help because you’re all growing together?
MB: We’re definitely on the same page. We all want to win. No one in here is trying to get individual accolades. We’ve all got our eyes on the prize.
Dime: To you, how important was re-signing Kevin Love for the franchise?
MB: It means that the Timberwolves are serious in the sense that they want to be great. The T-Wolves are building. I got a chance to be a part of that.
Dime: You and Love go way back to AAU, so what is it like to play with him now?
MB: Me and Kevin was cool since we were 12 or 13. And that’s the same for a lot of guys. Wayne [Ellington], Wes, there’s a lot of guys in the NBA right now that grew up on the same circuit that me and Kevin grew up on. We kind of had no choice but to know each other and it did make it easier. The last time we played together was the McDonald’s All American team. When I came in (to Minnesota) the guys accepted me and we just kept rolling.
Dime: Throughout your basketball career you’ve always been on winning teams. Was losing the biggest adjustment after you arrived in Minnesota?
MB: The hardest problem was finishing games, and that process, 65 losses, that definitely was the hardest part of my career so far. I’ve been above .500 in every year of my life dating back to when I was nine. Dealing with a losing season was something I’ve never had to deal with.
Dime: As a restricted free agent this summer, do you want to re-sign with Minnesota?
MB: Definitely. I love the team and I love the city. Other than the snow it’s a great city with great fans. I’d love to spend my career here.