The Minnesota Timberwolves (also commonly known as the Wolves or T-Wolves) are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. Founded in 1989, the team is owned by Glen Taylor, who also owns the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. The Timberwolves play their home games at Target Center, their home ground since 1990.
Like most expansion teams, the Timberwolves struggled in their early years, but after Kevin Garnett's takeover in the 1995 NBA draft, the team qualified for the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2004. Despite losing in the first round in their first seven tries, the Timberwolves won their first division championship in 2004 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals that same season. Garnett was also named the NBA Most Valuable Player for that season. The team then went into rebuild mode for more than a decade after missing the postseason in 2005 and trading Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007. Garnett returned to the Timberwolves in February 2015, ending his career there, with retirement in the low season of 2016.
Years with the Minnesota Timberwolves: 1995-2007 (12 seasons)
2004 NBA MVP
- Ten-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA selection, eight-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
Timberwolves' all-time leader in games, points, free throws, rebounds, assists, blocks & steals
Kevin Garnett was the Timberwolves. He was the perfect combination of desire and madness reflected in a whimsical athletic 7'0 frame that redefined the NBA. Garnett's transcendent abilities as an all-rounder changed the NBA forever. From day one, Garnett as a lanky boy from Mauldin, South Carolina, had a legend. With the fifth pick in the 1995 draft, Minnesota made him the first conscript to jump straight from high school since 1975. Garnett was an overwhelming one on the field. His ferocity and will to win were rubbed off on his teammates. He combined a dizzying array of post moves with an automatic mid-range jumper. He was an incredible passer and rarely missed a game due to injury. About defense? He was a nightmare for the opposition. He constantly barked out orders to his teammates and had the rare ability to hop along lanes to initiate quick breaks, while also being able to shoot into the crowd. During his 12 seasons in Minnesota, the only thing he failed to achieve was an NBA title. He only got close once in 2003-04 when management was finally able to put together a balanced roster around him that could go deep into the playoffs. Had Sam Cassell not succumbed to a hip injury, the Timberwolves might have defeated the Lakers and made it to the finals. If you had to sum up his career in one game, it would be this feat in Game 7 of the 2004 Western Conference Semi-Final against the Sacramento Kings, where he dropped 32 points, 21 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals. his 28th birthday. He threw the team on his back and dragged them to the next round with an all-ages performance.
In a league that is getting more point guard friendly by the year, it will be a long time before we see the type of dominating two-way force that Garnett is. His seething desire to win every night is a lost art today.
Years with the Minnesota Timberwolves: 2008-present (five seasons)
- Two-time All-Star
2011 NBA Most Improved Player, One-Time All-NBA Team
- 53 consecutive doubles doubles
- 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist
As a lifelong fan of the team, to this day my worst time as a fan came the day after the 2008 NBA Draft. In case you forgot, the Timberwolves drafted OJ Mayo with the third pick that year. I went to sleep dreaming of Al Jefferson leading this team to success in the playoffs with the man paired next to him as the next Kobe Bryant. I woke up to the disturbing news that Mayo had been traded in for a UCLA overweight named Kevin Love, whose best features at the time were his half-court prowess and his sexy outlet passes. Fast forward a few years to 2011 and Love had fashioned himself into the league's top rebounder and a nasty three-point shooter. The 2010-11 season is the season where he finally made his way to the starting lineup and developed into a star. He won the Most Improved Player award, counted 53 consecutive double plays, and won the NBA's first 30-point, 30-rebound game in nearly 30 years. In Love's rookie season, he made no less than two three-pointers. Two years later, he found himself shooting 42 percent from the center, a testament to how hard he works on his craft. During the 2012-13 season, he improved even more. He finished in the top five in the league in both scoring and rebounding with 26 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. He also won the three-point game over the All-Star weekend. It will be the season that ushered in his superstar reign, culminating in this 51-point 14-rebound masterpiece in Oklahoma City and this cold-blooded buzzer beater in Los Angeles. Love at number 2 on this list is debatable, but it takes the place because of his overall ability. He hasn't brought the team to the level of success we all hope for, but he hasn't always had the help needed to do that. This upcoming season, provided he doesn't break his hand by doing any more knuckle push-ups, the T-Wolves are poised to break this nine-year playoff drought behind Love. Kevin Love takes second place for being the only player to have owned this franchise that is also considered a superstar.
History of the Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA basketball returned to the Twin Cities in 1989 for the first time since the Minneapolis Lakers left for Los Angeles in 1960. On April 22, 1987, the NBA had awarded one of four new expansion teams (the others being the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, and the Miami Heat) to original owners Harvey Ratner and Marv Wolfenson to begin playing for the 1989-1990 season . There were two American Basketball Association franchises, the Minnesota Muskies in 1967 and 1968 and the Minnesota Pipers in 1968 and 1969. The franchise ran a 'name the team' contest, eventually selecting two finalists, 'Timberwolves' and' Polars ", in December 1986. The team then asked the 842 Minnesota city councils to select the winner, and" Timberwolves "won almost 2-1.