Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau is a loud son of a bitch. His voice cuts through all the noise during a game and his is almost all you hear whether you’re watching at home, at the game or listening to a death metal band at the State Theater down the street. He sounds like what I imagine Tom Waits would if you were punching him while he was taking a poop.
Thibs’ demeanor often gets judged, but what people don’t know is that underneath it all he’s just misunderstood. I grew up in Iowa amongst farmers who didn’t know how to express their emotions except for grunts and barks and I am fluent in Cookie Monster. So here’s my translation guide to understanding the true, surprisingly sensitive meaning of Thibodeau’s guttural outbursts on the sideline:
“GO GET IT!!!” – Translation: “Our dreams are only obtainable if we go for them. Find your spirit animal. Mine’s a giant panda that yells at his bamboo.”
“ICE!” – Translation: “Ah shit, Dwight Howard is shooting free throws. We’re all getting Cherry Berry!”
“RICKY!” – Translation: Change this face. Be happy. Enjoy!
“KARL!!!” – Translation: “You are the future of our team, Karl. You’re a lovely human being and I want you to be my Tim Duncan. That Karlito alter-ego thing is a bit weird but hey I don’t have any real human relationships because of my bunkering down Cold War era style watching constant loops of Jimmy Butler driving to the game in the hidden camera I installed in his car. Also, please stop shooting those threes.”
“JOHN LUCAS III!!!” – Translation: “Is John Lucas III still on our team?”
“WHAT THE FUCK?!“ – Translation: “WHAT THE FUCK?!”
“Practice is important. The regular season is important. Your meetings are important. Your walk-through is important. Everything is important. You want to be a championship team, there’s a price to pay. And that’s what you have to do. There’s no shortcuts. You can’t shortcut your way to success.” – Translation: “WHAT THE FUCK?!?!”
“*gurgling noise*” – Translation: “I had too much pastrami before the game and my heart-attack is imminent.”
Next up we play the Rockets at home on Wednesday. If we can build a 25 point lead with 2 minutes left in regulation maybe we’ll only lose by ten?