It’s hard to imagine a sports team around here has ever started a season with such little buzz as the Minnesota Timberwolves will Wednesday when they open the NBA season against the San Antonio Spurs.
Now we're ready for you to serve BBQ 🍗 to the Spurs tomorrow. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/wR3SpSAK9y
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 16, 2018
This was supposed to be a year of big payoffs for the local NBA entry. They made their first trip to the playoffs in more than a dozen years last year. They have plenty of talent. Their arena has been renovated and the team was going to cash in with high prices for tickets that would surely be in demand.
Then Jimmy Butler, one of the stars, announced he doesn’t want to be in Minnesota anymore and there’s very little Minnesotans despise more than people who don’t like it here or want to be here (See Knoblauch, Chuck).
The Timberwolves are going to try to play the season with an unhappy player but likely will have to trade him at some point in a market where they have no hope of getting equal value in return.
“Typical Timberwolves,” you’re thinking.
So is Drew Magary, the acerbic columnist at Deadspin who grew up in Minnesota. In a fan letters column today, he thinks pro basketball and Minnesota is never going to mix.
The Timberwolves gave it a decent shot, but it’s time for the NBA to cut its losses and realize that sticking a poorly managed basketball team in the middle of a state that is 120 percent Caucasian was always gonna be a lost cause. Basketball does not fit into the average Minnesotan’s daily routine of hockey, casual football enjoyment, more hockey, Jell-O salad picnics, and alerting the neighborhood association about that brown Honda parked along the street. The Timberwolves are wasting everyone’s time.
Even the Jimmy Butler thing was a gigantic waste of time because A) Jimmy Butler isn’t very good, B) The whole thing was so clearly orchestrated that I’m shocked it wasn’t also part of a guerrilla ad campaign for Wendy’s, C) The Wolves will manage to be a basketball nonentity with or without him. Even when the Timberwolves have a generational talent like KAT or Kevin Garnett, they still pursue aggressive obscurity.
“Ship them to Seattle and be done with it,” Magary concludes.