I sit here just an hour removed from attending arguably the most important game in Timberwolves franchise history. The Wolves spent the last 14 years outside of the playoffs. For many Wolves fans, it is fun to subtract 14 from their ages to help non-Wolves fans understand the struggle. We have seen a lot of nothing. And while it wasn’t pretty, it is crazy to think that the Wolves made it by the difference of 6 points in an Overtime game in Game 82 of the Season.
The purpose of writing this now is to try to capture the real emotions of a fan. To have it documented. The truth is, I am in shock. I am worn out from cheering. I can’t believe the Timberwolves hardwood is going to have a 2018 Playoffs logo on it. I can’t believe the Wolves went through two iterations of jerseys that never saw the playoffs.
I was in Los Angeles on Friday and got to see the Wolves play the Lakers and win. I was also fortunate enough to see tonight’s game. The game was summarized as I walked out with my wife and saw one of the Target Center hosts holding back tears of joy. It was quite the moment.
I saw 14 years flash by. I saw the multitude of missed draft picks, from Wes Johnson to Derrick Williams to Johnny Flynn. I saw the myriad of veterans ending their careers here, from Brad Miller to Tayshaun Prince to Brandon Roy to guys that I would have to question actually played here. I saw the glimmers of hope, from Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio to landing back to back number 1 picks. It all flashed before my eyes.
There were certainly good times though. The previous happiest moments in the last 14 years are captured beautifully by Kevin Garnett below.
I remembered the happiness I had when the Wolves traded for KG. I remembered Flip. I remembered the 2004 playoffs and that amazing team.
I spent a lot of time watching highlights of KG in Game 7 of the 2004 Playoffs against the Kings. Thinking tonight would be similar. It did end up being just as dramatic.
The crazy part is that this blog is a product of the 14 year drought. The name comes from the years of rebuilding. The years of looking forward to the draft. The only thing we were really good at.
The season wasn’t pretty. Just like our offense and defense. But I am so happy Towns and Wiggins will finally get some playoff experience. I am happier Teague can continue his steak of always making the playoffs (sarcasm). The old Timberwolves fan in me is going to miss the draft pick we lost (joke with a little bit of truth). The hope is that regardless what happens, the Wolves get some playoff experience finally. And then gear up for the future. If I remember correctly, the playoffs are a different game (see what I did there).
I am rambling now – mainly because I am panicking at how early I have to wake up and how difficult it will be to focus on anything else tomorrow. I will sleep with a smile on my face for certain.
Congratulations to all of the Timberwolves fans who have stood by the team through thick and well, thick. The Timberwolves fanbase is an amazing one. It has been a pleasure sharing this experience and the last 14 years with you all. Looking forward to more meaningful basketball in the future, something we aren’t really used to.
The Timber Rebuilder.