Monday, April 21, 2014

Quick Hits: Volume XCII

- There's a glut of Republican US Senate candidates looking to secure the GOP nomination to take on incumbent senator Al Franken. Since Franken is a very well funded incumbent, it would behoove some of the GOP candidates to do some serious soul searching regarding their viability.

About three months ago, I predicted Jim Abeler (my current rep in the MN House) would drop out of the US Senate race and thus seek reelection for his current MN House seat. Briana Bierschbach of Minn Post sent out the following tweet Monday morning.

Despite the fact I know Abeler personally, I have no insight as to what this announcement will entail. However, I wouldn't be shocked if said announcement fulfills my January prediction, especially in light of Abeler's feeble fundraising numbers:

Granted I thought Abeler would wait until after the May 30-31 MN GOP state convention (but just prior to the June 3 deadline to file for a MN House race) to officially step aside. However, given his dire financial situation, it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify staying in the fray.

- The latest news from the headquarters of the local NBA franchise should come as no surprise.

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has decided to retire after 23 seasons in the NBA. He will continue working for the franchise in a consulting role, the team announced.

The decision brings to an end to a celebrated coaching career that includes 1,042 victories, eighth on the NBA's career list. Adelman coached Western Conference powers in Portland and Sacramento and also had stops in Golden State and Houston. He just completed the third season of a four-year deal with Minnesota that he signed in 2011. There was a mutual option for the final year of the deal.

"I think it's time for me to step aside," Adelman said. "When I came here, we really tried to see if we could turn some things around and we made some strides. Not as much as we would have liked, but I think it's time for me to step aside and let someone else come in with this group. We're not that far away.

"I really enjoyed my time here. I thank [owner] Glen [Taylor] so much. He's the best owner I've ever been around. Not only as an owner, but as a person and everything. It's been an enjoyable experience, but I'm ready and my wife's ready to move on to another phase. We're looking forward to that."

While Adelman inherited a roster that included dynamic point guard Ricky Rubio and All Star forward Kevin Love, they were not on the court together nearly enough over Adelman's first two seasons. Rubio tore a knee ligament in Adelman's first year as Wolves coach, resulting in the club floundering down the stretch. The following season, while Rubio was still attempting to shake off some rust, Love played in only 18 of the team's 82 games due to various injuries.

Going into this season, the Wolves were thought to have one of the more formidable starting lineups with a healthy Love and Rubio, hard nosed center Nikola Pekovic, free agent shooting guard Kevin Martin (who had averaged nearly 20 points per game throughout his career) and the return of an improved Corey Brewer. While the Wolves offense was indeed dynamic (3rd in the NBA in scoring), their defense (26th out of 30) was virtually nonexistent. Combine that with the fact that there was a severe drop off in performance when bench players hit the court, the Wolves finished a disappointing 40-42, missing the postseason for the tenth consecutive season.

Team president Flip Saunders said there would be an "exhaustive" search for a new head coach. In the minds of many Wolves fans, the new coach needs to possess merely one quality: the ability to convince the team's best player, Kevin Love, to stay beyond the 2014-15 season, after which he becomes a free agent.

No pressure.

- My friend Julia Schliesing (who also happens to be Miss Minneapolis 2014 and a Northern Alliance Radio Network contributor) was recently the subject of a short online documentary. The organization Call Me Mental, a collaboration between artists and clinicians looking to change attitudes towards mental illness, focused on Julia's advocacy to reduce the suicide rate.

Through her own struggle with depression and anxiety, Julia uses her title of Miss Minneapolis (and hopefully Miss Minnesota and beyond) as a platform to encourage others plagued with mental illness to seek help before suicidal thoughts overwhelm them.

Please take about seven minutes to watch:

If you would like to be a part of helping Julia spread this powerful and important message, please consider donating financially to her cause. You can donate online here.


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