Los Angeles Lakers 107 – 143 Minnesota Timberwolves
If that’s your sales pitch for Kevin Love then I’m not too worried about 2015.
Nice game, douchebags.
You know how when people die they supposedly see the light and feel a sense of calm and peace? That’s how I feel right now with the potential Minnesota death of Kevin Love. I see the light. I don’t feel the pain anymore. I’m accepting of whatever fate may be. A semi-truck named David Kahn t-boned my Ford Focus of a Timberwolves team and I’m screwed. But Gorgui Dieng is giving me CPR. And Robbie Hummel is calling 911. Shabazz Muhammad is playing Angry Birds but he really is thinking about helping.
It’s not the end of the world. If Love stays, we’ll have a big future. If he leaves, life goes on. I make fun of Shabazz a lot, but he really does have the potential to be what everybody thought Michael Beasley could be. He also has the potential to be just Michael Beasley. The pendulum swings wide on Shabazz. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t like weed.
Robbie Hummel doesn’t play a lot, but when he does he hussles his ass off and makes nice threes. Unfortunately, he’s had more surgeries than Mickey Rourke’s face. I have a firm belief that if Robbie “The Wrestler” Hummel can do enough yoga and pilates or whatever NBA players do to stay healthy, he could be a really solid NBA role player. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t like bungee jumping.
Which brings me to the Senegal Sensation, Gorgui Dieng. Nothing but positivity here. Who saw this shit coming? He’s averaging 13 points, 14 rebounds and nearly 60% shooting in the last six games, all of which he started in place of the injured Nikola Pekovic. In those six games, he had one 22 point/21 rebound game and one 15/15 game. BEAST! I love Pek. He’s my favorite player. But in the meantime, I’m enjoying the hell out of watching Gorgui gallop around the court like a wobbly, newborn, giant moose unleashed on a world-full of unsuspecting Precious Moments figurines. He’s not quite there yet, but you can see it in him. He’s already great defensively and actually has some nice offensive moves too. Here’s my favorite part: His first name means “Old one” in his native tongue of Wolof. He even speaks Wolf.
Look, Gorgui Dieng obviously isn’t the next Kevin Love. (Even though his rebounding stats have rivaled his in this stretch.) He’s just a wee-little Timberpup right now. But I need hope. Kevin Love has been dragging my tattered Timberwolves heart around for too long. We don’t need him. We’ve sucked for ten years, so what’s sucking for a few more with players that actually want to be here? In two years, we could conceivably have a line-up that consists of Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammed, Corey Brewer, Gorgui Dieng and Nikola Pekovic. Good enough to get into the playoffs? Who knows? Maybe the Bucks will get bought by the Seattle group and Minnesota will move to the Eastern Conference and we can sport a 10-72 record and still be the third best team in the East? Do you know what all of those players have in common, though? They’re tough as nails and don’t bitch and whine when things don’t go their way. They don’t have rich uncle Beach Boys and need to be around a UCLA umbrella in Sun Tan Land at all times. I just don’t get it. I would play in a jar full of jelly in Siberia for the money these dudes are making. Who cares if you live in a hip town? Just suck it up for ten years, make your money and retire to Valhalla!
Next up, we play the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at home. I’d rather be an NBA team on the slow crescendo up than a faltering behemoth of a crumbling dynasty. For the love of god, let’s beat this Lindsay Lohan of a team.
Let’s face it, the Timberwolves aren’t making the playoffs. It’s still technically possible, but there’d have to be some kind of Gorgui Dieng/Robbie Hummel Space Jam Monstar transformation and then we’d probably have to pay Bugs Bunny somehow, so screw it. I’m past all these playoff pipe dreams. Here’s the five things I’d actually like to happen the remainder of this season:
1) Stay where we are in the seeds: We traded a draft pick to the Phoenix Suns that is Top 13 protected. In other words, if we do better and pass Phoenix, we lose our pick. I’d still like to end with a winning record, so I don’t think we should tank the rest of the games. What’s the term for just hanging around? Floating? Someone call up Oliver Miller and get his doughy, buoy ass back on the team. Float City! (Bonus wish: Andrew Wiggins falls to #13 and cultivates a weird lutefisk obsession, keeping him in Minnesota forever.)
2) More Shabazz: I never thought I’d say this, but I like him. Yeah, he’s got weird acne and I’m not entirely sure he’s ever passed the ball on purpose, but the dude’s got spirit. All it took was 50 games of DNPs and countless hours of Rick Adelman staring him down with his beady coach eyes. But he’s already better than Derrick Williams. Plus, if Kevin Love leaves, our future starting line-up could conceivably have a killer boy band name line-up: Ricky, Robbie, Gorgui, Nikky and Shabazz. They could be called “Knot 2 Shabby.” Okay, I’m not exactly Lou Pearlman. Fuck off.
3) Less JJ: Notice that I didn’t include JJ in the boy band even though he’s 5’3″ and his name just screams silk shirt? THAT’S BECAUSE I HATE HIM! I’m sorry, we all thought he was great on the 2011 Mavericks, but this dude has outworn his welcome. Here’s a tip: Don’t spend as much time in the paint as Hakeem Olajuwon if you’re the size of a waterbug.
4) Pekovic toughens up Budinger: I love Chase, but he’s seemed kind of timid for most of the season, even for an albino snow angel. Is it too much to ask for Big Pek to take him back to Montenegro and teach him how to be a man, Eastern European style? They can skip the track suits and chains. Just don’t bring him back until he looks like this:
5) Everyone, watch Kevin Love run: This is kind of a weird wish, but next time you watch a Timberwolves game, watch K-Love move up the court. He runs like a Choo-choo train.
Next up, we play the Mavericks at home. Think they’ll take JJ back? I bet we can slip him into Dirk’s shoes without anybody noticing.
There a few NBA franchises that I consider kindred spirits. I don’t root for these teams, but I feel their pain completely because their mismanagement, hopelessness and dumbassery feel oh so familiar to me. It’s the exact opposite of the Lakers optimism/hubris that says “Of course we’ll be contenders next year.” It’s the Milwaukee Bucks’ “Did you know we have a team?” vibe. The Bobcats/Pistons “Oh shit, an NBA legend is running us into the ground and nobody can get rid of him” vibe. The Clippers’ “Just give it four or five years and we’ll be the old Clippers again and nobody will care except Billy Crystal” vibe. It’s the New York Knicks in general.
I’m talking about Donald Sterling, Joe Dumars, Michael Jordan, Jerry Dolan and whoever the hell is running the Milwaukee Bucks/future Supersonics right now. (It’s rumored that David Kahn wants to buy the Bucks. Don’t let it happen, Milwaukee! Protest! Riot! Put up a camouflage shield so he can’t find your town. He’s dumb, it’ll work! Being last place in the league is preferable to being last place for the foreseeable future with him.)
As a Timberwolves fan who’s had to live through David Kahn, Flip Saunders and any other bumbling brain-dead Dodo bird with a clipboard that Glen Taylor hires, I understand. It’s not our fault! We’re just the fans, with no say in the decisions, but we suffer just the same. Minnesota didn’t deserve a guy who drafted three point guards in the first round and still missed the good one. Detroit didn’t deserve Josh Smith, the abandoned skyscraper of basketball players. Get this: The Knicks acquired Andrea Bargnani on purpose! I worked at Jimmy John’s in my 30s and even I’m put together enough to know that’s a bad idea.
So what to do? We can sit here and let these numbskulls ruin the vicarious joy that we feel from other people accomplishing things, or we can put a stop to it. You know how they elect sheriffs even though nobody seems to know why? We need to do that with our owners and front office. It’s election time, bitches. Better start earning your jobs!
“What’s that, Mr. Kahn? You’re thinking about signing Darko Milicic to a four-year 20 million dollar deal? I don’t think that’s a good idea. Midterm elections are coming up and Fancy Ray McCloney is rising in the polls. He’s promised to sign Prince and make the players’ jerseys out of crushed velvet.”
Tonight we play our brothers in ineptitude, The New York Knicks. Actually, I don’t want to admit it, but we’re 6-1 in the last seven games and five of our next six games are at home against losing teams. The one away game is against the Boobcats. I am not going to get optimistic, because every time I do, we lose. So I’ll just leave you with something Fancy: