Archive for January, 2014

Photo from a.espncdn.com

Photo from a.espncdn.com

Oh, Chicago Bulls fans. You’re the only fan-base that can truly grasp the pain that Minnesota has felt over the last couple years.  Instead of time spent celebrating playoff berths, or in your case potential championships, it’s time spent checking the injured list, battling seasonal depression and setting your Thorazine dosage to “drool.”  So in the spirit of Midwestern camaraderie, allow me to share a couple coping mechanisms and tips that I’ve learned from years spent supporting one of the most injured, disappointing and confused teams in league history:

Tip #1 – Lower your standards:

Yes, you have six championships with Michael Jordan.  But the last time he wore a Chicago uniform The Prodigy was popular and the internet still looked like Pong.  Greg Oden, a man who Rip Van Winkle would call rusty, is currently getting more minutes than your superstar heir, Derrick Rose.  You guys are screwed.  You have Brandon Roy 2.0.  It sucks and I feel bad for you.  But here’s the good news: We will take him off your hands, sign him for $10 million and get five games out of him before he retires again for good.  The Minnesota Timberwolves front office is the garage-saler of the NBA.

Tip #2 – Get excited about marginal players:

When Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Chase Budinger or any one of our porcelain players (that’s not a white joke) got hurt, we had to force ourselves to be elated for random, lackluster signings.  When we signed Mickaël Gelabale halfway through last season, I got super amped up.  Not just because it allowed the rare opportunity to type an umlaut in a basketball situation, or because he looks super funny in hats, but because I GODDAMN HAD TO.  Distract yourself, Chicago.  Re-sign an elderly Bill Cartwright.  Or go get Jud Buechler Jr.  It doesn’t matter that he’s only 12.  It’s about the memories!

Tip #3 – Find one person in the front office and blame them mercilessly:

Last year it was David Kahn, before that it was Kevin McHale.  Right now Flip’s KG years are buying him some time, but tick-tock, motherfucker.  All Minnesota Timberwolves fans hate our owner, Glen Taylor.  He’s the root of all evil and a pariah for all sentient beings.  He would draft a Dodge Omni hatchback over Michael Jordan and then piss the hatchback off for not paying it enough.

Tip #4 – Root against yourself:

Just for a year!  Don’t get a new team, just support every team that plays against you.  It’ll feel like winning. Besides, you know you’ve always wanted to boo Carlos Boozer.

Next up, the Timberwolves play the New Orleans Pelicans in Minneapolis.  BOO TIMBERWOLVES!!!  GO PELICANS!  Let’s rub that unibrow all over everybody!

Photo from blog.3dcart.com

Photo from blog.3dcart.com

Nobody’s ever been so happy to be 1-11!

Before the recent 121-120 win at Golden State, the Timberwolves were 0-11 in games decided by four points or less.  Imagine reaching into a box of donuts and eleven times in a row you accidentally grabbed dog poop.  Why are you still trying?  But then, boom!  12th time!  We got that sweet, sweet Eclair.  Party!  (Don’t eat it, it’s been touching poop.)

I’m in Iowa this weekend, so I had to watch the game on NBA TV.  While the “neutral” announcers didn’t come right out and say they were rooting for Golden State, they seemed a little perplexed that Minnesota exists as a state and a team.  Here’s my impression of the NBA TV announcers during nearly every Minnesota possession:

“Ricky Rubio, who was drafted before Stephen Curry, brings the ball up the court.  People say he’s good at dribbling but surely that’s only because he’s so bad at shooting, unlike Stephen Curry.”

“Future Laker Kevin Love gets the rebound.  Imagine how many boards he’ll get when he’s in a real market!”

“Nikita Petrovich sure is big for someone who nobody cares about.  Boy, he looks like the guy from Superman 2!  I’m the first person to think of that!”

“It’s -10 in Minneapolis right now.  Did you know it snowed there in May last year?  How do people live anywhere but California?  I heard they survive off of whale blubber and sleep inside of tauntuans like in “Empire Strikes Back”.

We get it, NBA.  Glen Taylor shouldn’t have illegally signed Joe Smith.  We’re sorry!  We don’t like Taylor either.  But it’s been almost 15 years!  Stop making the refs screw us on every play, stop making the announcers talk like the state of Minnesota is gross like Indiana and stop making fun of “Grumpy Old Men” (and to a lesser extent: “Grumpier Old Men”.)  I propose a deal:  We will convince Taylor, through some sort of mind-control, that he’s better off selling the team to Prince and you let us get to the playoffs.  We all remember the 2002 Kings/Lakers series.  We know you can do it.

Next up, the Timberwolves take part in the only front-office rivalry in the world:  Minnesota vs. Portland.  Come for LeMarcus Alridge vs. Kevin Love, stay for the passive-aggressive billionaire mud-pit!

I can’t take this anymore.

All I have to say about the game is that the Phoenix Suns are disturbingly for real, Gerald Green makes Matt Barnes seem like a swell dude and new Suns coach Jeff Hornacek looks weird without his short-shorts on.

So, in honor of Jeff Hornacek (and my desperate need to distract my sadness,) I give to you the all-time All-NBA Short-Shorts Team:

HONORABLE MENTION:  Kevin McHale, Ralph Sampson, Kurt Rambis, Tom Chambers, Bill Walton, Mark Price, Manute Bol

"Quick! Squash that man with the spray-on beard's head between our thighs!" www.baconsports.com

“Quick! Squash the spray-on beard guy’s head between our thighs!” Photo from baconsports.com

“Hey, why does Manute Bol only get honorable mention?  Look at his leg-to-shorts ratio!”  True enough.  But he was 7’7″.  Those shorts actually were big enough cover a Cirque du Soleil tent.  They were short the way the Arctic Ocean is “small.”

6) SIXTH MAN – George Mikan

Back when the shoes were flat and the taints were gaping.  Photo from media.npr.org/news

Back when the shoes were flat and the taints were gaping. Photo from media.npr.org/news

To be fair, I’m pretty sure even trousers went up to your balls back then, but it doesn’t change the fact that Mikan was the first Nair Superstar.  And that’s for the MINNEAPOLIS Lakers, bitches. So just imagine how cold his ass (literally) was.

5) Isiah Thomas

Isiah accidentally wore his wrestling unitard to the game.  Photo from a.espncdn.com

Isiah accidentally wore his wrestling unitard to the game. Photo from a.espncdn.com

As evidenced by Jordan’s attire in this photo, we were solidly in the mid-level length shorts era.  But Zeke refused to go along with it.  His championships and shorts were products of the 80s and no amount of chafing would change that.

4) Clyde “The Glyde” Drexler

Isiah taking up-close fabric measurements while getting dunked on.  Photo from i.cdn.turner.com

Isiah taking up-close fabric measurements while getting dunked on. Photo from i.cdn.turner.com

Without question, Clyde Drexler is the most high-flying nut-flasher on this list.  He was like a speedy hot-air balloon, soaring over his opponents and displaying high-region thigh hair to all who dared try and stop him.

3) Magic Johnson & Larry Bird

The toughest of rivals and the (almost) shortest of shorts. Photo from media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

The toughest of rivals and the (almost) shortest of shorts. Photo from media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

It’s impossible to talk about Magic Johnson or Larry Bird without mentioning the other.  They were like Bennifer, except rivals.  Every single thing about them was different, besides their britches.  In that they whole-hardheartedly agreed: If it ain’t tight it ain’t right.  Notice how Magic’s are just a titch shorter, indicating that he won more championships.

2) Kelly Tripucka

Kelly Tripucka nuts shorts

There’s nothing that needs to be said about Kelly Tripucka that can’t be seen dangling from his somehow league-approved uniform.

1) John Stockton

The Michael Jordan of short shorts.  Photo from i.cdn.turner.com

The Michael Jordan of short shorts. Photo from i.cdn.turner.com

John Stockton is the undisputed king of short-shorts.  Look at those things.  Peter Dinklage would be swimming in them.  Not only did Stockton reign supreme in the 80s, when most players also kept it up-top and tight too, but he defiantly refused to adjust in the middle-length era and even into the below-the-knees Allen Iverson years.  He was like a folk artist who refused to plug in, or a parent who won’t text.  Stockton’s popularity remains high in Utah, where to-scale replicas of his shorts are used as elbow patches in his honor.

Next up the Wolves play the Bobcats, where we’ll either win by 30 or lose by one at the buzzer.  Go Wolves and stuff.

Did David Duke play for the Dallas Mavericks?  Photo from blacksportsonline.com

Did David Duke play for the Dallas Mavericks?  You should be concerned if you out-hillbilly Larry Bird.  Photo from blacksportsonline.com

Kevin Love missed those free throws on purpose.  It was a political statement.

Ollie Hoosiers Free Throw 2

The first one was in solidarity with the missed opportunities of third world nations around the world.

Ollie Hoosiers Free Throw 1

The second one was a reminder that we build our love for each other day by day, brick by brick.

Ollie Hoosiers Free Throw 3

The third one he was actually supposed to miss, but somehow missed it wrong.  Um…for PETA?

He didn’t choke.  He’s Susan Sarandon.

Kevin Love Game Winner

The truth is, Kevin Love had an awesome game.  He’s the best PF in the league.  But it ended so, so badly.  It was like taking a long, refreshing pull of Antarctic spring water and then realizing that the last few drops were Dick Cheney’s microwaved butt sweat squeezed from his yoga pants by Kevin Durant.  The mood went from “YES!  WE’RE GOING TO WIN THIS!” to “At least we’ll still tie and go to overtime” to “God doesn’t exist and happiness is an illusion.”  You know, a Timberwolves game.

Perhaps Minnesota is a bit over-dramatic as a fan-base.  I’ve personally written off the season and then predicted a championship at least seven times each so far.  But with the only franchise player we’ve had in ten years threatening to leave if things don’t shape up, we can be excused for being a bit high-strung when things don’t go our way.  Which is all the time.  There’s only so many times that John Lennon can threaten to quit the Beatles before you throw Yellow Submarine against the wall and call Yoko a bitch.  Wings may have sucked but at least they all wanted to be there.

Next up, we play the sad and lonely Philadelphia 76ers.  A team so lousy and confused that they’re messing up tanking.  The bad news: They’re on a four game winning streak, all on the road, including one against a very good Portland Trailblazers.  The good news:  At least we’re not the Sixers.  Go Wolves!