Posts Tagged ‘timberwolves’

Sometimes a blog post doesn’t need too many words. 14 years without making the playoffs. We finally did it. Yeah we’ll probably get swept by the Rockets. Who cares? I feel like that 105 year old man they show on TV when a team’s about to win a championship. “He sat through it all!”

Here’s how I reacted when we made it. My dogs were very upset.

 

 

 

unfun

Photo from rebloggy.com

I thought this would feel different.  I thought when the Wolves were finally in the playoff race for the first time since “Friends” got cancelled that I would be over the moon, like during KG’s return home game or when Burger King started selling Lucky Charm’s milkshakes.  Instead, I feel confused, conflicted and slightly lackadaisical, like I do after three Lucky Charms milkshakes.

Canis Hoopus posted a great article about how to enjoy the Timberwolves this season.  It was helpful, but I think they slightly underestimated how unfun the Wolves have been to watch this year.  Technically, at 16-11, we are getting the job done.  But it has been ugly and painful like a dentist who jabbed the Novocaine into your forehead, but still got your wisdom teeth out, then, for no apparent reason, made the dental technicians stay until midnight.

It’s kind of jarring to go from losing with the flash of Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine to winning with…what?  Memphis 2.0?  We’re more Shit ‘N Blind than Grit ‘N Grind.  We’re not particularly good at anything as a team, but our top players are just so individually good that we can fluke our way into a win if the team’s top player is out for the night.  Which seems to be a trend.  Either Aaron Brooks’ actual purpose on this team is to Tanya Harding everybody’s knees before the game or else nobody is scared of us, because it feels like the last superstar we played against was Isiah Thomas.  The short pants one.

Here are some ideas that could help make our team fun to watch again:

  • Attach sleigh bells to Jeff Teague.  This will serve a double purpose by not only ringing in the Holiday Spirit to the team, but alerting Jeff that he should pass the ball after 2-3 jingles instead of the whole damn song.
  • Allow fans to punch Cole Aldrich in the face when we are frustrated.  It’s not personal.  He’s already missing teeth, he never plays and he’s making a ton of money.  Serve a greater purpose, Cole.
  • Instead of giving fans Cherry Berry when the opposing team misses two free throws in a row, give it to Thibs on the sideline and zoom in on the jumbotron until he gets brain freeze.  I’m too lazy to redeem that ice cream anyway and I’ve always wanted to know what a constipated rhino looks like.
  • Jimmy Butler karaoke at halftime.  Only Hootie songs.
  • Spectacular injuries.  How much drama did the Gordon Hayward injury add to the Celtics year?  I’m not saying any players should do this.  I’m thinking assistant coach Rick Brunson could perhaps get hit in the face with Crunch’s t-shirt gun and get carted off before returning Willis Reed style.  We get some much needed drama.  He gets some attention and a free shirt.  Win-win!
  • Stop losing to shit teams.

Next up we play the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Tuesday.  Aaron Brooks will have the night off from wacking knees because according to my sources half the team just fell into a swimming pool and broke their pelvises.

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 – Otherwise 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 “Big Balls Dance“.  I can’t 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’s Diamond Store Commercials – This may sound like a joke but I’m 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 – While the Conference Finals was the franchise’s greatest moment, I think this is Flip’s 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’s good decisions will live on.

Flip’s Blue Suits – Flip 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’m 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’ve been wearing the same jeans for two weeks so I can’t talk.

Everything – Honestly, 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’ll be forever grateful for that.

Rest In Peace, Flip.

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

Shabazz Mohammad. Photo from twincities.com

The Timberwolves’ #14 pick: Shabazz Muhammad. Photo from twincities.com

We suck at drafting.  Like super suck.  I was trying to think of an analogy like “We are the _____ of drafting” and then I realized it’s already right in front of me.  We are the Minnesota Timberwolves of drafting.  David Kahn, Flip Saunders, it doesn’t matter.  We treat each draft like it’s a meat raffle and yet we come home with Twinkies.

Positives first: We drafted guys with fantastically comic booky names Shabazz and Gorgui.  Too bad Magneto and Doctor Octopus were already taken.  In addition, Shabazz can be used as a verb like “Smurf”, as in “He goes up!  And yes!  With the SHABAZZ!” and  “You really shouldn’t Shabazz in public.”  Also, neither draft pick is white, which lowers our Cape Cod percentage to 85% bleached.  Phew!

Negatives: We could have had Trey Burke, arguably the best point guard in the draft.  Granted, we have 45 point guards, but in a weak draft like this you take what you can get.  Instead, we basically swapped for Michael Beasley with less talent.  Shabazz has allegedly lied about his age, sulked when a teammate scored a game-winning basketball instead of him and de-pantsed elderly people in public on their birthdays.  That last one might not be true, but that’s how poorly he’s being portrayed.

It really comes as no surprise if you pay attention to our history.  We’ve flubbed way more than we’ve hit.  Here are our top lottery pick selections since our very first year.  Try not to be blown away by the star-power:

1989 – Pooh Richardson #10 (Pooh!)

1990 – Felton Spencer #5 (Swing and a miss.)

1991 – Luc Longley #7 (An avocado tree could have played center for the Bulls and won those titles.)

1992 – Christian Laettner #3 (No comment necessary.)

1993 – Isaiah “J.R.” Rider #5 (Our first go-around with a mega-talented pile of shit.)

1994 – Donyell Marshall #4 (Who?)

1995 – Kevin Garnett #5 (YAY!! A grand slam and a future Hall-Of-Famer!  Good job, Wolves!)

1996 – Ray Allen #5 (YAY! A grand slam and a future Hall-Of-Famer!  Oh, wait.  Traded to Milwaukee.  For Stephon Marbury.  Feeling…sad…)

1999 – Wally Szczerbiak #6 (Pick traded From New Jersey.  Wayzata embodied in human form. If only his game stood up as much as his intensely gelled hair.)

2006 – Brandon Roy #6 (Traded to Portland.  Booo!  No, yay!  No, wait…I’m not sure.)

2007 – Corey Brewer #7 (Clank.)

2008 – O.J. Mayo #3 (Traded to Memphis for Kevin Love.  YAY!  Good job, Kevin McHale!  Maybe you aren’t so bad, after all.  Hey, where are you?)

2009 – Ricky Rubio #5 (Real-life anime teddy bear and hopefully the face of our franchise for years to come.  Either way, I could really use a Ricky Rubio “Change this face!” pick-me-up right now.)

2009 – Jonny Flynn #6 (Sucks so bad that his name tried to spell “no” several times.)

2010 – Wesley Johnson #4 (To this day, I’m partially convinced that Wesley Johnson was just a tall usher in the audience who got mistaken for an NBA player and drafted.)

2011 – Derrick Williams #2 (T.B.D. Best case scenario: We trade him for something.  Worst case scenario: Kevin Love breaks his knuckles on his face.  KABLAM!  CHA-POW!  SHABAZZ!)

2013 – Drafted Trey Burke #9, then traded him for the picks that became Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng and Sassafras Tinklytoots.

2014- Grumpy Cat #1 and David Kahn #9?  Why not?

Grumpy Mike - Frighteningly, I swear to God this picture was taken before I'd even heard of Grumpy Cat.  Photo by Ryan Wisniewski

Grumpy Mike – Frighteningly, I swear to God this picture was taken before I’d even heard of Grumpy Cat. Photo by Ryan Wisniewski

Let’s face it, Wolves fans (those of you still out there) – It doesn’t matter who our GM or President or head coach is.  Glen Taylor is the owner and will be for a long, long time.  As long as he holds the reigns:  We.  Are.  Screwed.  Who’s really to blame?  The idiots and their idiot decisions?  Or the King Idiot who keeps hiring all the idiots?  Or the idiot like me who keeps watching?

Shabummer.

Foreshadowing by Flea? Photo from dimemag.com

Flea foreshadowing Shabazz’s 2015 panda smuggling prison stint. Photo from dimemag.com

Kevin Garnett is a genius.

Not only is he the greatest Timberwolf of all time but there’s not even a close second.  Physically, he is a shell of his former self, but his mouth is fully and loudly intact.  He’s like an old Honda Accord with a $10,000 sound system that still wakes up the neighborhood.

In case you missed it, during last Monday’s Celtics/Knicks game KG reclaimed his Shit-Talker-Of-The-Millennium crown by telling Carmelo Anthony that his wife LaLa (whom he is allegedly separated from) “tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios.”  Not Fruit Loops.  Not King Vitamin.  Not regular Cheerios.  Honey Nut Cheerios.  Brilliant!  Something tells me Kev wasn’t talking about how she helped him lower his cholesterol and reduce his risk of heart disease.  It rattled Anthony so badly that he waited outside the Celtics’ bus after the game in some kind of angry, “Say Anything” moment.

LaLa Anthony's slogan: "We're gonna tempt your tummy, with the taste of nuts and honey."

LaLa’s slogan: “We’re gonna tempt your tummy, with the taste of nuts and honey.”

Can’t KG come back and play one more year with us?  Is there anybody on our team that can rattle off trash that succinctly?  Half our guys can barely speak English.

I’ve been to my fair share of Timberwolves games and here’s the best I’ve heard the Pups dish out:

Kevin Love: “(Coughs in opponent’s face) Now you have flu-like symptoms, bitch.”

Alexey Shved: “In Russia…Honey Nut Cheerios taste like YOU!”

Rest of the team – “Ouch, my knees.”

Tonight we play the Oklahoma City Thunder in OKC.  In other words, we’re screwed.  But the good news is, this is a great team to practice our shit-talking chops on.  What a bunch of fake dorks.  Man, that pisses me off.  Okay, NBA players…listen up.  You made it.  You’re rich, you’re famous and you’re supremely physically superior to 99.9% of the human race.  STOP DRESSING LIKE URKEL!  You’re supposed to dress like Allen Iverson or the bad guys from Revenge of the Nerds, not Kurt Rambis.  This is just some fad to you.  I couldn’t help it.  In 9th grade I wore denim from head to toe.  Hat, shirt, jeans.  I would have worn denim shoes if I could have found them.  I used to play “Risk” by myself.  I have to live with that.  So enjoy your rimless glasses and your stupid back-pack, tourists.  I didn’t get laid until I was old enough to rent a car.

Russell Westbrook dancing on my virginity.  Photo from usatoday30.usatoday.com

Russell Westbrook dancing on my virginity.  Photo from usatoday30.usatoday.com

Special thanks to the guys from KFAN for having me on this morning on The Power Trip radio show.  Click here to take a listen.  I was on from 7-9.

Thank God for Sacramento!

There’s a sentence nobody’s ever said beforeIt ranks on the unused list right between “Why are you touching me, Kate Upton?” and “I volunteer for experimental vasectomy surgery.”

Two out of our six wins were against Sacramento.  The importance of that can’t be overstated in a year that we’ve lost to both Charlotte and Toronto.  Gah.  Really?  The Bobcats and the Raptors?  The Bobcats’ best players are Kemba Walker and a sandwich and I’m pretty sure every Raptors’ home game happened because the crowd wandered in on accident.   I cannot accept getting beaten by a team that named themselves after Jurassic Park.

It’s not like the Kings don’t have talent.  I fear the day that DeMarcus Cousins gets his head straightened out.  That guy is one of the most gifted basketball players to come into the league in years.  But he’s got some serious anger issues, especially for a third-year player who’s supposed to be paying his dues.  He’s been kicked out of practice for refusing to listen to the coach, removed from an airplane because of an altercation with a teammate and suspended two games for confronting Spurs’ announcer Sean Elliot after a game because he mentioned on-air that Cousins needs to learn a bit of humility.  Way to prove him wrong there, Gandhi.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dick too.  But I don’t make 4 million dollars a year.  Drink some chamomile or something, buddy.  Put on some freak-sized yoga pants and get in touch with your inner sweetheart.  It’s not like someone ate your lasagna in the break-room at Walgreens.  You’re a famous, physically dominate millionaire.  Calm the crap down and don’t screw things up.  Then, when you’re done with the NBA and made your money, you can go asshole it up all over the world!   Go punch every Australian you meet.  Piss on the Eiffel Tower because it doesn’t understand you.  Tell a dolphin you don’t love it.  Whatever!

Take our own Luke Ridnour:

Dude’s one bag of meth from being an extra on Breaking Bad.  I guarantee he’s had a street name like “Booby” before.  But he keeps his mouth shut.  Last night he had 18 points and five assists.  He knows he’s not Chris Paul, so he works his ass off just to stay around.  He’s not making trade demands.  He just keeps on working on his middle school mustache and making shots when we need him to.

So even though the Kings have as much, if not more, physical talent than the Timberwolves, we still beat them through our patented combination of hard work and luck.  And nobody embodied that combination more last night than Kevin Love.  He had 23 points and 24 rebounds, 21 of which were defensive rebounds.  21!  That’s not just hard work, that’s John Henry.

And as far as the luck part goes.  Well, we’ve had more injuries than a Dance Dance Revolution party at a Crisco factory.  So if this is the shot that has to be the game-sealer for us, we’ll take it: