I’m not an analytics guy.  I don’t understand math and I don’t give a crap what PER is, because it makes my head hurt and it feels like reading Latin backwards.  I watch the NBA to be entertained, not figure out if Zach LaVine would get to St. Cloud faster on a train heading west at 75mph from ten miles away versus Gorgui Dieng two feet away on roller skates.

I’m an emotional NBA fan.  I judge players like my mother judges me: On a day-by-day basis depending on how “neat” they are.  Steph Curry could have a five point, 1-12 night and I’d be ready to consider him the next Kwame Brown.  In other words, I’m an idiot.  So here’s this idiot’s emotional, irrational list of the best rookies in the NBA so far.

1) Karl-Anthony Towns

This one’s in the bag.  KAT is a beast and once his minutes get past the length of a Daily Show clip he’s going to lead the rookies in most categories.  My favorite things about KAT include his intensity and the fact that at 20 years old he has an imaginary friend.  I’m 37 and go on ghost hunts so any time a successful person is crazy it makes me feel like I’ve got a shot.

2) Kristaps Porzingis

I still can’t pronounce his name so I just call him “Portishead”.  A lot of people think Portishead looks like Dolph Lundgren in “Rocky IV” but I see him in more of a Dolph Lundren in “Kindergarten Cop 2” light.  I didn’t know it existed until recently but sign me the fuck up.

3) Larry Nance Jr.

Larry is not a super great rookie, but for some reason I find it hilarious that Larry Nance has a son in the NBA.  Other sons of former NBA stars I’d like to see in the league include Spud Webb Jr., Andrew Bynum Jr., George Mikan Jr. (he’s 65) and Shawn Kemp IX.

4) Jahlil Okafor


Me trying to understand ORtg ratings. Photo from a1.fssta.com

Okafor got into a street fight last week and unfortunately it’s the most exciting thing the 76ers have been associated with in years.  Was Okafor a dick before Philadelphia or is there just something about the City of Brotherly Love that turns people into raging psychopaths?  Turns out the fight started when someone came up to Okafor and his teammates and started talkin’ about PRACTICE.

5) Justice Winslow

I would pay $10,000 to have Justice Winslow’s name.  It sounds like an old-timey street-vigilante’s moniker.  “Hey mac, drop the diamonds.  Justice Winslow is coming!”  BIFF PAFF BLOP!  When he’s not busy being a promising NBA rookie, Justice Winslow shoots judge gavels from his fingertips fighting his notorious gangster arch-enemies Mugsy Bogues, Tiny Archibald and Vinny “The Microwave” Johnson.

Next up the Timberwolves play the Clippers in Los Angeles.  DeAndre Jordan has said he’ll be there, which means he won’t be playing.

Go Wolves!

Goddamn these Timberwolves up and downs.  If we were Philadelphia I could just go dead inside and pretend like I don’t base 95% of my happiness on how well a bunch of strangers in mesh polyester put a ball into a hoop.

But I can’t.  Because I’m excited.  And it feels weird to be excited.  I think I just talked myself out of being excited.  No, I’m excited again!

There is a perpetual doom and gloom about being a Timberwolves fan, where we just assume that the team will be broken up, or moved to Seattle or Wiggins will inevitably lose an eye in a tragic Jucy Lucy squirting catastrophe.  I refuse to succumb to it.

Karl-Anthony Towns is my favorite Timberwolves rookie since Kevin Garnett.  The great thing is, I said that about Andrew Wiggins last year.  Ricky Rubio continues to be the best NBA player that the rest of the league never notices or respects.  KG is the best mentor a team can ask for.  Gorgui Dieng is playing awful this year but he moves around like a confused lava lamp and that’s soothing in a way.  All positives!

No team is immune from breakup, but our core of Rubio/Towns/Wiggins are all top-notch dudes that want to win HERE.  Plus, nobody leaves on KG’s watch.  KG is the mafia boss of the NBA.  You can try and leave, but you better get a fake identity and join the Hungarian badminton team to be safe, otherwise you’re waking up with a horse head and Stephon Marbury’s bloody jersey in your bed.

I’ve been paranoid for half a decade about this team being moved.  Turns out they’re on contract for renovations through 2032 so it’s technically impossible.  The relief!  This is like thinking you have smallpox and finding out you just have small palms.  Sorry, Supersonics fans.  Guess you’ll just have to hope Portland grows big enough to touch Seattle.  Hope you like hipsters!


“We win games, but only ironically.” Photo from i.telegraph.co.uk/

There’s no way this team won’t end up being great someday.  Even we can’t screw this up, right?  It’s not like we’re a team that traded away two superstars, had a point guard focus more on a hip-hop album that made the Chicago Bears look like good rappers, drafted a player who’s not even in the league anymore over arguably the best player in the NBA and tried to coax women to games by offering a cup of wine and a free DVD of “Girls”.

Oh shit, we’re screwed.  We are the Insane Clown Posse of the NBA and nobody but meth-heads will ever love us.

No, no.  We’re the future NBA Champs and they’ll close the league after us because nobody will ever be able to top it!

Go Wolves!

Photo from layovertips.com/

Photo from layovertips.com/

The Minnesota Timberwolves are ass-backwards right now.  4-0 on the road and 0-3 at home.  My first instinct is to burn the Target Center down, but I’m pretty sure it’s full of 1989 asbestos and Tony Campbell’s spare tires.  We can’t risk poisoning Prince on the one day a year he goes out to buy purple shoes.

It’s all perfectly explainable.

November 2 against the Portland Trailblazers – 

Even Blazers fans know the referees screwed us.  OJ’s verdict made more sense.  We can only hope that the Blazers end up stealing some sports memorabilia, go to prison for 20 years and write a book called “If We Did It – The Story Of Paying The Refs”.  Glen Taylor must have dry-humped Adam Silver’s mom at the sweetheart’s dance in 1916 to warrant this kind of hate.

November 5 against the Miami Heat – 

Sam Mitchell played Rubio, Towns and Wiggins a total of negative three minutes that game.  Dwayne Wade had 150 points.  Goran Dragic summoned Veles, the Slovenian dragon god of cattle and trickery, to intercede and make us forget how to play basketball.  Tom Brady deflated our balls.

November 7 against the Charlotte Hornets –

We didn’t have Rubio, Wiggins or KG in the line-up.  We also had to go up against Jeremy Lin and his giant, cartoonish fauxhawk, which should be illegal because it gives him three feet more space to flop with.  Lin is a devout Christian.  Well, buddy, the Ninth Commandment says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”  And according to this Wikipedia page I just read, the punishment for bearing false witness was having the same thing done back to you.  So…I guess if you’re a good Christian you will come back to Minneapolis and let 30 people pretend to get hit in the head by you.  That’ll show you!

“Finish him!” Photo from chocolateinformed.com

Next up we play Golden State Warriors at home. Oh boy.  Nothing says breaking a home losing streak like playing arguably the most dominant team since the ’96 Bulls.  Veles, be with us!

Alzheimer patient Sam Mitchell tries to remember who's on his team. Photo from nba.cdn.turner.com/

Alzheimer patient Sam Mitchell tries to remember who’s on his team. Photo from nba.cdn.turner.com/

The difference between two games can be startling.  One minute you’re hopelessly falling into Kurt Rambis 2.0 Land and the next you’re beating a Eastern Conference contender on the road and dreaming of 80-2.  Damnit Wolves, you’re never boring.

After Thursday’s game, I was in a depression spiral about our team.  I could never be an NBA coach.  I couldn’t even coach third graders shooting at a Nerf hoop.  But I think I could be a better coach than Sam Mitchell.

How in the hell do you play Karl-Anthony Towns for only 22 minutes?  And Ricky Rubio for 24?  It’s like we’re driving this fancy SUV to dinner and 1/4 of the way there we go “Fuck it, let’s take the unicycle.  No, no, let the drunk guy steer.”

It must be hard being an NBA coach, having idiots like me telling you how to do your occupation.  It’s a high-pressure, high-blame job and he got thrust into it out of necessity because of Flip’s passing.  BUT WHAT THE HELL, SAM?!   You don’t start someone if they’re old enough to have starred in Space Jam, okay?  I’ll give you a pass on KG because he’s the heart and soul of the team but the only thing Tayshaun Prince should be starting is his AARP subscription.

I wasn’t expecting a championship this year, or even making the playoffs.  But I expected to watch entertaining basketball where we got to see our young studs earn their chops in the fire.  Instead, we got mind-boggling rotations that seem to be picked by a drunk parakeet pecking at pictures taped to a wall.

I began to feel that familiar feeling of “we’re totally fucked and we’re going to have to sit through another long season of Kevin Martin holding onto the ball longer than it takes to charge a cellphone and Zach LaVine exhibiting the control of a methed-out Roller Girl.”

Then Saturday happened AND WE ARE THE GREATEST!

Karl-Anthony Towns is the next Tim Duncan/Karl Malone/Shaq/Jordan/Jesus!  Wiggins is literally made of superpowered maple leaves from Hell!  Zach LaVine is exactly the same!

And get this:  Ol’ Black Hole Chicken Wing Shot Kevin Martin misses a game and suddenly everybody gets the ball.  Unfortunately, he was out because of personal reasons involving his family.  That’s sad and I don’t like that, but I do think we can find a way to make him miss more games without personal tragedy or getting hurt.  I understand Martin is very polite.  I suggest we start inviting him to every birthday party, going away party and bris we can think of.  Tell him Pooh Richardson invited him to Burning Man, Crunch is getting married, Milt Newton is building a Kevin Martin shrine in Madagascar and he has to cut the ribbon.  I think if we do this right we can make him miss at least 75 out of the next 77 games.

Next up we play the 7-1 Hawks in Atlanta.  We’re 3-0 on the road but this is going to be a rough one.  Hopefully Dominique Wilkins will punch a guy again for non-payment on a suit and it’ll throw them off.

Go Wolves!

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com - September 28, 2015, Minneapolis, MN, Target Center, NBA, Minnesota Timberwolves Media Day

Ricky Rubio for President.  Or Prime Minister.  Or Top Spaniard or whatever they have over there.  Photo from stmedia.startribune.com

I love Ricky Rubio, goddamnit.

Do you know who doesn’t like Ricky Rubio?  People who don’t watch Minnesota Timberwolves games.  People who tell the teacher when they forget to assign homework in school.  And ISIS.  Go on and get your info from lazy commentators and out of context stat sheets.  Gregg Poppovich knows more about twerking than these people do about Ricky.

My two favorite people.

My two favorite people.

There’s a lot of misconceptions about Ricky Rubio.  The most common one is that he can’t shoot.  In past seasons, he’s looked as comfortable shooting as Mike Huckabee at a Lilith Fair concert.  But on Wednesday he lit up the Lakers for a career high 28 points and 14 assists in a one point victory.  None of the Lakers had an answer for him, because they weren’t expecting it.  They’d have been less shocked if Jack Nicholson ripped off his sport coat to reveal a Minnesota jersey and yelled “I’ve always hated you, Kobe”.


You ever dance with a unicorn in the pale moon light?

Another thing people say is that Ricky can’t play defense. That’s like someone telling me I don’t walk like a duck.  Look at his steals and look at my feet.  Case closed, assholes.

And no one can say he’s not one of the most brilliant passers in the game.  He’s like “Pistol” Pete Maravich mixed with John Stockton minus the nut-huggers.  You never know when and where a pass is coming from.  If I were a player I’d just stand there with my hands constantly open in case something comes my way.  On a pick, on a fast break, during timeout, in the shower.  There’d be some awkward moments but I’m not gonna be the guy who gets hit in the head with a basketball at Sneaky Pete’s.

Ricky’s a genuinely good person and he wants to win here.  That’s why the world can shove the trade rumors up their ass.  No true Minnesotan would ever want to part with Ricky.  He’s as much a part of Minnesota as Jucy Lucys and smiling to people’s face then talking shit behind their backs.

There might be conventionally better players out there, but there’s only one Spanish Unicorn.  Everybody say “NEEEEIGH!”

Next up we play the Nuggets in Denver with their illegally high town.  Hopefully Adam Silver received my oxygen mask petition.

Go Wolves!

Photo from nba.com

Photo from nba.com

Exciting rookies, new veterans and a blueprint for success in the years to come…my first post of the season was supposed to be a happy one.  Instead, I find myself in shambles with the recent news that Flip Saunders lost his fight with cancer.

It’s strange to be so broken up about a man you never met and it’s difficult to explain to someone not from Minnesota what he meant to this team and this state and why we are so palpably devastated. After all, it’s just a game, right? But you see, we catch a lot of flak for being a lousy team in a cold ass state.  When people say they don’t want to live or play in this tundra and that the Timberwolves are a joke, we take it personally. Flip wanted to change all that.  He wanted to make this team great and maybe he couldn’t change the weather but he could warm up the atmosphere with a winning culture.

Flip may have been from Ohio but he was an Honorary Minnesotan and a spokesperson for us and we loved him for it.

Here are my favorite, fondest memories of Flip and his tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 2004 Western Conference Finals – Otherwise known as the Zenith.  This is the greatest moment inTimberwolves history, even though we actually  lost.  But damnit, we were close.  Flip took this team to the brink and in my opinion the only thing that kept us from taking it all was Sam Cassell LITERALLY injuring himself doing the “Big Balls Dance“.  I can’t think of a more Minnesotan way of losing.  Flip was never pissed about it, though.  He understood the mind and soul of a player and got that sometimes you just have to grab your imaginary oversized balls in a gesture of supreme joy.  I just wish Cassell had done his big ball stretches beforehand.

Flip’s Diamond Store Commercials – This may sound like a joke but I’m being serious.  Those diamond store commercials are usually so cheesy and gross, but when Flip was in them you felt his sincerity. Normally, having a personal jeweler for over 20 years sounds about as fun as being Ricky Rubio’s shooting coach but Flip made it feel as warm as Paul Bunyon’s bosom.

The Wiggins-Love Trade – While the Conference Finals was the franchise’s greatest moment, I think this is Flip’s personal highmark.  Having the patience and balls (without any dance!) to pull off this trade without flinching is hugely underrated.  If this trade was up done by David Kahn, we would have gotten a 55-year-old Sam Bowie and a free box of Icy Hots.  Instead, we got the future of our team and Flip’s good decisions will live on.

Flip’s Blue Suits – Flip looked like the fanciest bell-hop in the world in those things.  I am always jealous of people who can wear skinny suits, because I’m built like a pear-shaped inner tube.  Flip may have worn the same suit 77% of the time but he pulled it off in style.  Also, I’ve been wearing the same jeans for two weeks so I can’t talk.

Everything – Honestly, I can list a million things about Flip that I loved.  The Gorgui Dieng pick, the Shabazz Muhammad-Trey Burke swap, his desire to run every front office position in the Timberwolves organization or his legendary humor and friendliness.  I never had the pleasure of meeting the dude but I can say that he was truly beloved by Minnesota sports fans.  He may never have gotten that NBA championship ring, but he made us feel pride in ourselves and we’ll be forever grateful for that.

Rest In Peace, Flip.

Photo from kstp.com/

Photo from kstp.com/

We did it!  We drafted the correct player, Karl-Anthony Towns, with the #1 pick!  What is this strange, uncomfortable feeling?  Is it hope and optimism?  This is Minnesota.  Where sometimes the snow DOES come down in June, but the sun has NEVER gone ’round the moon.  WELL, THE SUN JUST WENT ‘ROUND THE MOON BECAUSE WE DIDN’T FUCK UP!  Vanessa Williams you sweet milf, I love you!  I am way more excited about a 19 year old than a 37 year old bald man should be!

Now that Towns is one of us, it’s time he take a tour of our wonderful city.  I would like to be the man to do that.  Here are the places I would take him.  (We also drafted the super talented Tyus Jones at #24, but that dude is from here.  He already knows where the Electric Fetus is.)

Photo from i.imgur.com/mb21j.jpg

You know, Minneapolis!  The place with spoons and cherries! Photo from i.imgur.com/mb21j.jpg

The Cherry Spoon thingy – Most people don’t know what the cherry spoon is all about.  Some people joke that it belongs to a very greedy heroin addict.  Some say it’s encouraging people to eat humongous fruit.  But it’s actually an analogy for the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The cherry is the team.  The giant spoon is Karl-Anthony Towns.  The moat is the last 11 years.  CARRY THE CHERRY, Mr. Towns.  Carry the motherfucking Cherry.  We’ve sucked so bad for so long that this actually makes sense to me.  #carrythecherry

“MY! MY! MY! I am the BEST looking mural on Lake Street!” Photo from @ceciliagarza

The Fancy Ray McCloney wall mural on Lake Street – Not only is it important to show Karl-Anthony Towns what Minnesota expects from him, but to show him what he can expect from Minnesota.  And that is total devotion.  If he promises to love us, we promise to love him.  That means he can expect to be about as famous as this mural of Fancy Ray McCloney.  It IS Minnesota, after all.  Now that may not sound like much on the surface, but everybody loves Fancy here.  He’s like Prince, if he were weirder but more likely to be spotted at an Arby’s in St. Louis Park.  I once saw him running around the track at the YMCA in a red leotard with curlers in his hair at like 1pm.  Let’s start there.  If Towns does good maybe he can reach Al Franken levels of superstardom.

Sometimes Phil Jackson hangs out at the Minnesota Institute of Arts.  Photo from planetware.com

Sometimes Phil Jackson hangs out at the Minnesota Institute of Arts. Photo from planetware.com

The Minnesota Institute of Arts – This place is a really great museum.  So many cool artifacts and sculptures from every imaginable place in the world.  I would take Towns here to show him that we have a real appreciation for life and art in Minneapolis.  And then, by the South American boat section, I would lean in to his ear and say “If you ever leave us like the others, I’ll fucking hollow you out like this boat and ride your carcass to Lima.”  And then he’d say “What?” And I’d say “Nothing. You’re really good at free throws.”

Well, barring any trades, that’s pretty much it for the summer.  I’ll pop in if something big happens, but until then GO WOLVES!  SUCK IT, OKAFOR!  ENJOY BEING THE 76th Center in PHILADELPHIA!