Monday, August 3, 2009

The state of the Minnesota Timberwolves

For those of you not in Minnesota let me tell you a little bit about the professional sports calendar up here. During the summer it is Twins time as the state rests their hopes on their “little engine that could” team, while wishing that someday the Twins management would provide the fans with a complete team. The end of the Twins season coincides with the Vikings season, which then take center stage as everyone in the state tries to convince themselves that this will be the year. Of course also during this time is when the NHL starts their season and Minnesota fans go to the Excel Center to watch the Wild and represent the “State of Hockey.” In addition to the Vikings and the Wild there is also the Gophers football, hockey and basketball teams competing for MN sports fans attention. Hockey is able to keep most Minnesota sports fans attention through March and April and into the beginning of the Twins season as the calendar repeats itself.

Lost in all of this is the Minnesota Timberwolves. My favorite sport (basketball) is not loved up here and really has no place with everything else going on (for the market size of the Twin Cities) as described in the first paragraph. I personally love the Minnesota Timberwolves, but I am in the minority of folks up here. I don’t know why people don’t like them because the Twolves provide a tremendous value and give you the opportunity to see other players and teams at extremely discounted rates. You might not like the Twolves, but you should be thankful that you get to see stars like LeBron James for a fraction of the cost you would pay in another city. I have been able to get seats that in other sports would either be unavailable or go for 3 to 4 figures.

I have been to the suite for both of the companies I have worked for up here for multiple games, which doesn’t happen ever for the Vikings/Wild or often for the Twins. Also, I was able to get $750 face value courtside tickets for $55 through my current place of employment. This isn’t meant to brag, but rather to make a point on how available the tickets are for Timberwolves games.

Another point in the Timberwolves favor is that by going to the games or talking to the players you are appreciated in ways that Vikings fans will never know. I remember seeing a bunch of Timberwolves players at a restaurant downtown one Sunday afternoon during football/basketball season. I went up to them and congratulated them on the win the previous night against the Suns. They all made eye contact with me and thanked me in a way that at least made it seem genuine. I even got a few sentences with the star and my favorite player on the team Al Jefferson (from Mississippi) as I explained to him how I watched him play in the Coliseum when he was with Prentiss. He was very good natured and even gave me a fist pound at the end of the conversation.

The Timberwolves ticket office is even more appreciative of you if you buy tickets. They are always looking for clever ways of getting you to spend money on them. They offer the following deals:

  • You get 10 game ticket package for a discounted rate and if the Twolves win 5 out of the 10 games you go to then you get 5 free tickets next year.

  • If you lose your job you get a refund on any tickets you don’t use.

Also, they have a blueprint for success, which from the looks of it hasn't been updated since it includes points like the ones below:

Point 1
“We have assembled players with solid character, led by Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Mark Madsen and Mike Miller. All of these players are not only solid players on the court, but solid community-minded citizens off the court.” Commentary - I think that is great because it is funny the Twolves would include that in their blueprint when 3 out of the 5 players them mentioned are no longer with the team. One wonders if Foye and Miller were such solid, community-minded players then why did the Twolves trade them for a Spanish point guard who doesn’t even want to play here?

Point 2
“Our coaching staff brings more than 80 years of NBA experience to the bench, along with 35 years of player experience in the NBA.” Commentary - Does that include Kevin McHale? You know the guy that was just fired.

Point 3
“Last season, we re-signed several of our own free agents – Ryan Gomes, Craig Smith and Sebastian Telfair – who we believe are key to our young core.” Commentary - Really? If they are so key then why are both Craig Smith and Telfair with the Clippers.

This post was supposed to be a lead in to my rules of scalping, but instead I got a little carried away with the Timberwolves. I like to give my readers a little something to read on the team every once and awhile because they represent a lot of what I love (cheap tickets, friendly players and great value) and hate (losing, poor personal decisions, bad drafts) about sports. They are discredited, laughed at and worse off mostly ignored by peopled up here, but that only makes them try harder. I don't necessarily give them my approval (ex. Foye for Roy), but at least I give them my attention.

The rules of scalping to come later when I get some time and also maybe some wedding thoughts for some of the regulars.


Marty said...

You forgot one very key player for the T-wolves...Christian Laettner.. sigh. Except he turned out to be a huge asshole and shattered my girlhood fantasies when he refused an autograph as we flew coach on Northwest Airlines together.. oh well.

BC said...

Laettner was always a huge asshole. Even Grant Hill said so on national radio. Imagine that---a Duke basketball player who is an asshole. Next thing you know, you'll find a stupid Republican.

Will wonders never cease?