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August 8, 2012After he signed a contract Tuesday night to play next season with a professional team in Spain rather than with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Robbie Hummel drew a bit of misinformed Twitter heat.
"It looks like a bad thing," Hummel said Wednesday night of his signing to play with Obradoiro in Spain's first division. "You should see the tweets I've been getting. I've had people tweeting at me, 'If you don't want to play for our team, then we don't want you.' It's not like that. You think I wanted to not be in the NBA?'"
Rather, Hummel's move overseas came at the Timberwolves' urging, affording the former Boilermaker star a chance to log significant minutes - in a league he called "the world's second best behind the NBA" - while still bringing in a six-figure salary, rather than running the risk of getting lost in the shuffle as a second-round pick on a Minnesota roster in flux.
"That's what this is about," Hummel said. "They told me I could be the last man on the roster, at the end of the bench in street clothes, but what good would that do for me? Sending me to Spain is about me getting to play a lot and getting prepared for the next year."
Minnesota will retain Hummel's rights and he'll be free to join the Timberwolves in 2013-14 and into the future, he said.
"It might look like they don't want me," he said, "but that's really not the case."
Hummel played for the T-Wolves' summer league team in Las Vegas last month, playing 15-and-a-half minutes per game on an inordinately large roster that had 20 other players on it. Hummel averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in four games.
"They said they were thrilled with the way I played and they said I'm in their plans for the future," Hummel said. "They're not just going to dump me over there and not follow me. I firmly believe that in the future, whether it be the year after next or the year after that, that I'll be part of their organization."
In the meantime, Hummel will have to acclimate. His USA Basketball experience and Purdue's exhibition trip to Australia years ago will help prepare him for international playing rules.
As for the language ...
"I took Spanish from seventh grade through my senior year in high school, so at least I have a basis. I've probably forgotten a lot of it but it's better than going in blind."
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