Welcome to another wonderful installment in the web's best NBA team previews. So magical that you will be filled with wonder and astonishment and a mystical sense of the magical and mystical magic that is mystic, yet also magic. To check out all the entries in the series, you can click here.
Today, we will be discussing the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that basketball people spent a disproportionate time thinking about this summer because of draft day antics and the Saga of Ricky Rubio. It's worth mentioning that the distillation of this entire summer's worth of thought about the Timberolves is contained in this blog post. No, scratch that, I can do better. It is contained within these quotation marks: "You are doing what? Why? Okay... Wait, why? Oh, but you are trying? Okay. But, it's not working is it? Yeah. Wait, what now?"
Team I Don't Like With Lots of Players I Do Like
Things I Like
I like all the new guys in Minnesota: Ramon Sessions is one of the better point guards in the league despite having no outside shot and being banished to playing in the absolute definition of obscurity: second string on the Milwaukee Bucks for years (This is a special purgatory reserved for only the most interesting and exciting point guards-- I'm so sorry Brandon Jennings. The NBA is a cruel mistress). Johnny Flynn is apparently the secret twin brother of Ty Lawson (who, incidentally, the Timberwolves also drafted and then traded to Denver), so I'm obligated by law to like him and his breakneck, free-wheeling ways. Speaking of which, Wayne Ellington, the sweet-shooting Carolina guard, surprisingly-athletic Final Four Most Outstanding Player and all-round nice-guy was also drafted by the Timberwolves.
Kurt Rambis, the new coach, is also, incidentally one of my top five, all-time, NBA fashion icons. I mean look at him:
That is what a man looks like.
Things I Don't Like
David Kahn, president of basketball operations, drafted four point guards in the 2009 draft and then acquired another one in free agency. The one he really wanted, Ricky Rubio, won't even be playing in the NBA this year. But, that's fine, because you might have guessed this, but YOU ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH POINT GUARDS. So, well-played sir. Well fucking played.
The Timberwolves are a terrible organization and I say that, in all fairness, out of personal bitterness. This was the prison that caged the fearsome, freakish fury of Kevin Garnett for so many years. This is the place where Rashad McCants, one of my most favorite sweet-shooting malcontents was trapped and ruined. Because of this, I fear for Ramon Sessions. I fear for Johnny Flynn. I fear for Wayne Ellington.
Also, Ricky Rubio passes really well but as near as I can tell, that is the only thing separating him from a Jonas brother.
Speaking of which, I'd been doing some digging in the Calderon case and I started to notice something suspicious. Look at these highlights of Ricky Rubio playing with the Spanish national team:
Notice something odd? Right. Where's Pau Gasol? He's not in any of the footage. What was Pau Gasol really doing when he was supposed to be playing basketball for Spain? Is he working for Calderon? Is all the drama surrounding Rubio really a smoke screen to cover up an insidious plot by the Spanish mafia? Is Ricky Rubio's excellent passing, singing, and dancing really just a diversion? IS HE FAKING HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH VANESSA HUDGENS? HOW WILL SHE FEEL WHEN SHE FINDS OUT?
I'm sorry, I know this isn't strictly about the Timberwolves, but this is bigger than both of us.
Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that Kevin Love will sort of ditch the over-sized, low-rent Justin Timberlake circa 2005 look? After bonding with Kurt Rambis, is there any doubt that the rebounding wunderkind goes full on and embraces the big dorky retro glasses and embraces the parted hair and Rambis mustache?
No, there is not. Now dream bigger.
DREAM SCENARIO: The entire team adopts the look. Imagine it. Imagine Ramon and Wayne and Al and Corey. Imagine them all. Imagine the pan down the bench. A whole bench filled with glorious Rambises (Wait, third-declension so... Rambes?). Mustaches as far as the eye can see. The shortest shorts in the league. I am picturing it. I am imagining. I am dreaming it. I am willing it.
Stay tuned. The Timberwolves are loaded with fun and interesting players who could make this year really entertaining, and it's totally within the realm of possibility that the new coach, new staff, and new players help to create something really great and new (Team of Rambes). On the other hand, it's the Timberwolves: It's probably going to be an unwatchable disaster in spite of everything.