“Minnesota Timberwolves” and “All-Star” don’t pop up in the same sentence very often.  In 25 years as an organization, the T-Wolves have sent five players to the All-Star game for a grand total of 15 appearances.  Michael Beasley’s been to the Hennepin County Courthouse more than that.  And if you take away Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love (Stephon Marbury somehow never made the team), that leaves you with three All-Star appearances total for the Timberpuppies.  Latrell Sprewell’s choked more coaches than that.

These past non-Kevin All-Stars have been all but forgotten.  What are the odds of a young NBA fan even remembering these guys?  There’s a better chance of LeBron James choosing Minnesota in free agency.  “I’m going to take my talents to Lake Minnetonka.  Me and Kent Hrbek are going to win not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven ice-fishing championships together.”

Tom Gugliotta – 1997 All-Star Game

GOOGS!

The Timberwolves have a long history of playing frat-boy looking players, and Googs is the Godfather of Greek.  Don’t get me wrong, Googs was a great player.  But all I can think about when he comes to mind is that god-awful late-90s barbed wire tattoo on his arm.  So Pamela Anderson.  Big Baywatch fan, Googs was.  Did he get a tramp-stamp too?  Hopefully he covered it up with something more timeless like a tribal tattoo.  Wait…

Googs!  Oh god, that late-90s barbed wire tattoo is killing me.  So embarrasing.  Hopefully he covered it up with something timeless like a tribal tattoo.  Wait.  Photo from bleacherreport.com

Where’s your pooka shells, Googs?   Photo from bleacherreport.com

Wally Szcerbiak – 2002 All-Star Game

It actually took me a few years to figure out that Wally wasn’t Gugliotta with a different haircut.  If Googs was a frat-boy then Wally was the guy who paddles the pledges and makes them drink goat’s blood.  Szczerbiak also has the most impossible name in the world to spell.  It takes five letters to get to a vowel.  Unacceptable.  If it weren’t for cut and paste, he’d just be Wally S to me.

I was googling Mr. Consonants to see what he was up to when I realized that he is the exact same age as me.  We’re both 35.  I am so depressed.  What have I done with my life? By his early 30s, Wally Szczerbiak had already achieved a successful career in the NBA.  In that same time frame, I worked at Jimmy John’s, went bald and unsuccessfully sued my landlord.

"Hey guys, do you wanna play Light As A Feather Stiff As a Board?" Photo from shamasportsheadliners.com

Wally Szcerbiak’s band camp picture.  Photo from shamasportsheadliners.com

Sam Cassell – 2004 All-Star Game

Sam Cassell was old and looked like ET.  But between him, KG and the coach-choker/spinning rims-maker we could have won a championship in 2004.  Unfortunately, he got lost in a forest and woke up half-dead by a storm-drain.  And even though I saw his flower clearly come back to life, our championship hopes disappeared right there like a trail of Reese’s Pieces into Oliver Miller’s mouth.  And it’s been “Next year!” ever since.  OUCH!

Sam Cassell chillin’ with his buddy Michael Jackson. Photo from postcarbon.org

The All-Star game is on tonight.  Hopefully the Timberwolves will be represented for years by future Kevins of all shapes, sizes and colors.

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