For the first time since Ashlee Simpson was selling her crappy album "Autobiography,"
EIGHT years ago, the Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball team is relevant. Remember them? Remember that time when they struck gold with that first round draft pick…. I mean when they fought hard in the first round of the playoffs……I mean when Kevin Garnett stayed in Minnesota….. Actually in reality, the Wolves have really never been relevant, save for that fluke 2004 run that saw a team lead by Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett lose to the mighty Shaq/Kobe Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The most famous person ever related to the Wolves is probably former free agent disaster Marko Jaric’s Victoria’s Secret Model wife Adriana Lima.
Bad draft picks (remember Johnny Flynn??) Poor Management (see Kevin McHale) and terrible free agent signings (Darko says hi from his yacht by the way) have contributed to one of the most dysfunctional professional teams this side of the nuthouse. But something is happening in Wolves country you see. Something special, something magical, and something that will defy the odds you see. For it is written on this day in the middle of June of 2012……there is ACTUALLY a reason to care about the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It all started with former Bozo GM Kevin McHale trading O.J. Mayo for a pudgy Center/Forward from UCLA named Kevin Love. Who knew three years later that K-Love would become the most dominant rebounder since Dennis Rodman and a double double machine who can also hit the clutch three? Then comes along a General Manager (David Kahn) who has NEVER in his life played basketball and all he does is go and draft Stephen Curry and Ricky Rubio back to back in the draft. Oh wait I mean he goes and drafts Johnny Flynn (WHO??!!!) and Rubio back to back in the 2009 NBA Draft. With a fan base ready to embrace Ricky things looked up, until he decided to stay in Europe and refine his skills for two years. However, the Wolves began to assemble a team that can run and gun and actually become one of the more entertaining teams to watch in the NBA. You have the “Mongolian Mauler,” Nikola Pekovic disrupting the lane, hitting hook shots and looking all kinds of smelly. You have former Miami Heat mega bust Michael Beasley, whose’ motto is “puff puff pass,” but on the court is strictly a puffer who NEVER passes (ironic isn’t it?). And who can forget good Old’ Anthony Tolliver who generally sucks in every way but is a great locker room presence and cheerleader on the sideline.
For a brief moment in the 2012 NBA season, the Wolves were looking like a playoff team. Although their Defense has more leaks than the Titanic, Minnesota’s super-fast tempo and highlight reel Rubio passes pushed them on the brink of a possible playoff date with the Spurs or Thunder in the 1st round. Then, the unthinkable happened, the Black Mamba himself Kobe Bryant destroyed Rubio on a crossover and he keeled over on the court faster than Nancy Kerrigan did in the Olympics fifteen years ago. And that was that. The Wolves went into hibernation for the spring and completely bottomed out. The team imploded with Luke Ridnour running the show and generally being the most average point guard ever. Love did everything he could but he had no help as a still developing Derrick Williams was acting like your typical inconsistent rookie and no one else picked up the slack.
I must say that things are looking up for the Wolves. Despite the terrible end to the season, Minnesota has a great coach in Rick Adelman and a young, improving roster with loads of potential. As long as Rubio comes back from his ACL tear and zings passes around with cat like precision, and Love continues to be a dominant big man, the Wolves can possibly contend for a playoff spot for 2013.
Recently acquired Chase Budinger gives the team a great streaky three point shooter and there are rumors the Wolves are trying to get Pau Gasol which would be HUGE for the development of K-Love. I’m actually going to say it: the Wolves are relevant once again. If you don’t think so that’s fine too. Hey, at least they got to be on Sportscenter a few times.
Neal BuenzBack to the Minnesota Timberwolves Newsfeed