Figures. On a day when the Minnesota Timberwolves finally declare themselves a legit NBA organization again by signing Kevin Love to a fat contract, Forbes Magazine offers one more bit of humiliation to the Timberwolves before doing so goes out of style. The magazine has named the Timberwolves “the worst NBA team for the money.”
The NBA’s worst team for the money over the past five years is the Timberwolves. Even though the Timberwolves have kept player costs relatively low in recent years, they haven’t won more than 30 games since the 2006-07 season and haven’t made the playoffs since 2004.
David Kahn, Minnesota’s President of Basketball Operations, has been criticized for both his lack of media savvy and his managerial ineptitude. The latter was highlighted in the 2009 NBA Draft, when he selected three point guards in the first round. The result is a team that has lost 80% of its games over the past two seasons.
The Timberwolves have played so poorly that they rank first despite having the seventh-lowest player expenses in each of the last two seasons. Their on-court ineptitude has been unmatched: they have the worst record of any team over the last two seasons, with just 32 total wins in that time period. Even the solid play of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio this season haven’t been enough to earn a winning a record.
Forbes. Forbes. Forbes. Where have I heard that name and the Timberwolves before? Oh, sure, I remember: It was when Forbes named Kevin McHale, the architect of the Timberwolves failures, as the best general manager in all of sports.
The Timberwolves’ McHale has been harshly criticized in the press for not giving superstar Kevin Garnett the supporting cast to win a championship. But McHale has guided the Timberwolves to eight playoff berths and a .539 regular season winning percentage–more than double his predecessor’s .244. Winning improvement under McHale has been so great that it offset a 19% rise in salary against the NBA’s median payroll during his 11 years as GM.
That was 2007, when the Wolves had already turned in two losing seasons, were working on a third, and would follow it up with three more.