Archive for October, 2015

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”.

rickyunicorn

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 ‚ÄstOtherwise 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 ‚ÄúBig Balls Dance‚Äú. ¬†I can‚Äôt 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‚Äôs Diamond Store Commercials ‚ÄstThis may sound like a joke but I‚Äôm 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 ‚ÄstWhile the Conference Finals was the franchise‚Äôs greatest moment, I think this is Flip‚Äôs 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‚Äôs good decisions will live on.

Flip‚Äôs Blue Suits ‚ÄstFlip 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‚Äôm 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‚Äôve been wearing the same jeans for two weeks so I can‚Äôt talk.

Everything ‚ÄstHonestly, 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‚Äôll be forever grateful for that.

Rest In Peace, Flip.