Posts Tagged ‘chicago bulls’

thibsyelling

Photo from img.apmcdn.org

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?

GO WOLVES!

Alzheimer patient Sam Mitchell tries to remember who's on his team. Photo from nba.cdn.turner.com/

Alzheimer patient Sam Mitchell tries to remember who’s on his team. Photo from nba.cdn.turner.com/

The difference between two games can be startling.  One minute you’re hopelessly falling into Kurt Rambis 2.0 Land and the next you’re beating a Eastern Conference contender on the road and dreaming of 80-2.  Damnit Wolves, you’re never boring.

After Thursday’s game, I was in a depression spiral about our team.  I could never be an NBA coach.  I couldn’t even coach third graders shooting at a Nerf hoop.  But I think I could be a better coach than Sam Mitchell.

How in the hell do you play Karl-Anthony Towns for only 22 minutes?  And Ricky Rubio for 24?  It’s like we’re driving this fancy SUV to dinner and 1/4 of the way there we go “Fuck it, let’s take the unicycle.  No, no, let the drunk guy steer.”

It must be hard being an NBA coach, having idiots like me telling you how to do your occupation.  It’s a high-pressure, high-blame job and he got thrust into it out of necessity because of Flip’s passing.  BUT WHAT THE HELL, SAM?!   You don’t start someone if they’re old enough to have starred in Space Jam, okay?  I’ll give you a pass on KG because he’s the heart and soul of the team but the only thing Tayshaun Prince should be starting is his AARP subscription.

I wasn’t expecting a championship this year, or even making the playoffs.  But I expected to watch entertaining basketball where we got to see our young studs earn their chops in the fire.  Instead, we got mind-boggling rotations that seem to be picked by a drunk parakeet pecking at pictures taped to a wall.

I began to feel that familiar feeling of “we’re totally fucked and we’re going to have to sit through another long season of Kevin Martin holding onto the ball longer than it takes to charge a cellphone and Zach LaVine exhibiting the control of a methed-out Roller Girl.”

Then Saturday happened AND WE ARE THE GREATEST!

Karl-Anthony Towns is the next Tim Duncan/Karl Malone/Shaq/Jordan/Jesus!  Wiggins is literally made of superpowered maple leaves from Hell!  Zach LaVine is exactly the same!

And get this:  Ol’ Black Hole Chicken Wing Shot Kevin Martin misses a game and suddenly everybody gets the ball.  Unfortunately, he was out because of personal reasons involving his family.  That’s sad and I don’t like that, but I do think we can find a way to make him miss more games without personal tragedy or getting hurt.  I understand Martin is very polite.  I suggest we start inviting him to every birthday party, going away party and bris we can think of.  Tell him Pooh Richardson invited him to Burning Man, Crunch is getting married, Milt Newton is building a Kevin Martin shrine in Madagascar and he has to cut the ribbon.  I think if we do this right we can make him miss at least 75 out of the next 77 games.

Next up we play the 7-1 Hawks in Atlanta.  We’re 3-0 on the road but this is going to be a rough one.  Hopefully Dominique Wilkins will punch a guy again for non-payment on a suit and it’ll throw them off.

Go Wolves!

Vanilla Ice performing at the Timberwolves home opener halftime show.  Because apparently Pat Boone wasn't available.

Vanilla Ice performing at the Timberwolves home opener halftime show. Because apparently Pat Boone wasn’t available.

I saw Vanilla Ice perform last night.  Check it off on the bucket list of things I never actually meant to do, like graduating college before I was done partying and accidentally exercising.  Rob “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle played for five minutes at the Timberwolves home opener half-time show and threw down all the massive hits.  He played a medley of “Ice, Ice, Baby”, “Play That Funky Music White Boy”, and then yelled “Make money money!” while the T-Wolves dancers jumped around for the remaining three minutes.  Catalogue complete!

He also wore a Darko Milicic jersey.  It’s fitting, considering their similarities.  Both were highly-esteemed in their early days for about a week.  Both don’t know how to do things very well.  The only difference is Darko went away.

Regardless, we won the game!  We had a big lead at one point and then blew it away (very Timberwolvesy) but we actually held on to get the W (not very Timberwolvesy).  We’ve got a pretty deep bench (not very Timberwolvesy) but we also seem to forget how to score for large stretches of time (super Timberwolvesy).  I’m going to say the most Timberwolvesy thing and say that we’ll be fun to watch and that we could maybe make the playoffs this year for once.  Now all we need is three more teams’ best players to get hurt and we’re there.  Poor OKC.

By the way, I have to call bullshit on something.  Someone supposedly taped a Timberwolves ticket to a pole in Minneapolis, then someone found it, took a pic of it and it went viral.  I don’t believe it for a second.  Some Wild fan did that.  Hockey fans are so insecure.  They’re so pissed about being the #4 sport in America that they have to talk smack to the NBA.  Don’t be pissed at us because half the country doesn’t care about you or your missing Chiclet teeth.  You guys are just figure skaters that we let fight.

Next up we play another bitter hockey town (Chicago) at home on Saturday.  This is going to be a tough one, but Chicago might collectively step on a paperclip and break their arms off so we have a chance!  Go Wolves!

Photo from cdn1.bloguin.com

Photo from cdn1.bloguin.com

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!

I think this map might overestimate the pull of the Minnesota Timberwolves' fanbase. Photo from hdwallpapers3d.com

Oh sweet, we get Wyoming! Photo from hdwallpapers3d.com

Hot damn, it’s NBA time again!

This season is full of question marks after last season’s screwball bowling injuries and salsa dancing controversies.  And that was just Andrew Bynum!  The only seemingly sure thing is the Miami Heat.  But much like Pat Riley’s perfectly coiffed, unmoving Lego hair, it feels like the whole thing could come tumbling down if all the pieces aren’t perfectly placed.

So, without further ado, my surely on-the-nose predictions for the 2013-2014 season.  Starting with the slightly improved from last year Eastern Conference:

1) Miami Heat – What can I say?  They’re the new LA Lakers. They’re monsters and even though losing Mike Miller makes them just a titch less good than last year, there still seems to be no end in sight to their domination.  That’s not even considering the low-risk, high-reward signings of Michael Beasley and Greg Oden.  And you can just forget about LeBron going back to Cleveland next year.  That’s like Miley Cyrus going back to Hannah Montana.  It’s too late.  We’ve already see your molly.

2) Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose’s knee is either going to win a championship or explode like a pinata filled with liberals at an NRA convention.  Being a Timberwolves fan, my inclination is to believe that all injuries that can happen, will happen.  So in my mind, Derrick Rose has three weeks before a Looney Tunes anvil falls on him or he runs off a cliff.  Good luck, Chicago!  Bring an umbrella and don’t look down.

3) Indiana Pacers – I want to like the Indiana Pacers.  They’re a good team.  But they’re unfortunately located in the most wretched, backwards state in the union.  I got my car window busted out there for no reason other than that they were jealous that I was able to leave.  I would rather drink out of a BP oil slick than watch some angry hoosier talk with their peach-fuzz mustaches flapping and their John Cougar Mellancamp blasting.  “Little ditty, ’bout Jack and Diane…” Kill me.

4) Brooklyn Nets – Another team I want to like, but just don’t see it happening.  The Grim Reaper is coming for Kevin Garnett’s career this year.  Mark my words!  That dude has had a phenomenal run (his best statistical years were here in MN!) but I just believe that he’s going to be crestfallen and brittle this year. By the way, it’s been pathetic hearing Boston Celtics fans go “It’ll be so hard to see Kevin Garnett in another jersey!”  Oh yeah?  Cry me a river, Paddy.  Ask MN what that’s like!  At least you guys got a title out of it.  And you don’t get to mourn a player whose name you can’t even fully pronounce.  “Gahhhhhnett! Don’t leave, Gahhhhhhnet!”

5) New York Knicks – Here’s the problem: No way Carmelo Anthony is having that good of a season two years in a row.  Amare Stoudemire makes Greg Oden look like Bruce Willis in “Unbreakable.”  And they just signed a guy who couldn’t get decent stats in Toronto.  With Metta World Peace in the picture now, maybe the Knicks can relive some of those psychotic Charles Oakley/Anthony Mason “Sometimes we play basketball while we’re destroying souls” days.  Could Anthony Mason even raise his arms above his head?

Anthony Mason during the Knicks' 90s heyday.  Photo from comicvine.com

Anthony Mason’s 1995 Knicks team photo. Photo from comicvine.com

6) Atlanta Hawks – When I was a kid growing up in Iowa in the 80s and 90s, there were literally only two NBA teams you could watch regularly.  The Chicago Bulls on WGN and the Atlanta Hawks on TBS.  One had the greatest player of all time and rattled off six championships.  The other had an average of 10 fans in the stadium who accidentally stumbled in because they thought it was monster truck night.  Even with ‘Nique, the choice was obvious.  Water-polo in the North Pole has more fans.

7) Washington Wizards – It’s troubling that Emeka Okafor is already out indefinitely, but this is definitely a team on the rise.  John Wall hasn’t quite made the leap to superstar level, and this is the year he needs to do it.  If they can get Okafor back eventually and stay healthy otherwise, they should make the playoffs.  And poor Glen Rice Jr. has so much to live up to. His dad was an NBA all-star AND had sex with Sarah Palin. Maybe Jr. should try Michele Bachmann?

8) Detroit Pistons – There is a glimmer of hope in Detroit.  Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope III Esquire Jr.  The Pistons look great in theory!  Unfortunately, so did a stripper party at Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s house.  Thank you Detroit, for making Minnesota feel better about electing Jesse Ventura.  But I’m not going to rain on Detroit’s parade too much.  I’m rooting for them in the East.

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9) Cleveland Cavaliers – Any team relying on Andrew Bynum will fall short.

10) Milwaukee Bucks –  The Bucks made the playoffs last year with a losing record.  I’m almost positive it was on accident, because they ended up missing the lottery because of it.  The good news is, since Wisconsin is a football state, nobody will notice when they become the Seattle Supersonics.

11) Toronto Raptors – Basketball in Canada.  Need I say more?

12) Boston Celtics – Unlike the Lakers, the Celtics are used to dipping down into Awful Town for a few years.  They’ll get make it back eventually in ten years or so.

13) Charlotte Bobcats – The Minnesota Timberwolves won 22, 24 and 15 in the years that Al Jefferson played with us.  Why do the Bobcats think that Al Jefferson is their answer when they have an arguably worse team than we did?  Because they’re actually deceptively tanking to get Andrew Wiggins in the draft but don’t want to look like they’ve given up.  Well played, Charlotte.  Give me a call when you’re the Hornets again.

14) Orlando Magic – Hey, when I kept getting rejected for the prom I just stopped trying.  Take a hint, Orlando.  You’re screwed.

15) Philadelphia 76ers – I’m surprised the 76ers are even attempting to put basketball players in. I don’t recall a team giving up so completely as this one.  Two pizza dudes, my grandma and an unmanned kayak could beat this team.  Contender #1 for the “Riggin’ for Wiggins” sweepstakes.

That’s it for the Eastern Conference. Stay tuned for my predictions for the less depressing and infuriatingly tough Western Conference!