Are The Minnesota Timberwolves Jinxed?
By now you probably know that All-Star forward Kevin Love is out six-to-eight weeks after breaking his shooting hand while doing push-ups. A theory has formed in the wake of Loves injury, and that theory is this. Are the Minnesota Timberwolves jinxed?
Coming into this season T-Wolve fans enthusiasm level was through the roof. It has never been this high since Kevin Garnett last played here. Fans were pumped, the “P” word was floating around. Fans were so excited, that they even forgot that they will be without Ricky Rubio; who tore his ACL on a freak play in March, and wont return until mid-December.
How can a span of almost ten months, can a team lose not one, but two “franchise” players? Is there some “curse” that is in play here? When the Minneapolis Lakers moved to California (where there are no lakes by the way) did they in return cast a spell saying “no basketball team will ever win in Minnesota”? Star Tribune sports columnist Jim Souhan has his own theory, which you can find by clicking on the link.
Lets take a look back at the history of the Minnesota Timberwolves to see if there is any evidence of a “curse”. Well first of all the Timberwolves started playing at the Metrodome for one season in 1989, only a “curse” could have caused this team to suffer through a 42 game home schedule at the dome, right?
Three years after they started playing, the Timberwolves finished with the worst record in the NBA, and should have received the number one pick, but instead the Timberwolves “curse” resurfaced, by making sure the Timberwolves did not receive the first pick, instead the Timberwolves fell to the third pick. At the draft the Timberwolves watched as Shaquille O’Neal, and Alonzo Mourning who are two sure Hall of Famers go number one, and two. When Minnesota could pick, they drafted Christian Laettner who would become a bust, and would set the Timberwolves back a decade.
The only time the “curse” was not present was at the 1995 NBA draft which was when the T-Wolves would select Kevin Garnett who would become the face of the franchise for the next decade. Yet for those 12 years KG played here, he suffered the wrath of the “curse”, by only winning two playoff series’s in his 12 years as a T-wolf.
The “curse” made Kevin McHale and the Timberwolves do something stupid and tamper with Joe Smith contract. Smith who was never an NBA all-star, and never became one in a T-Wolves jersey cost Minnesota three first round picks, and a lot money in fines by the NBA.
Do you believe in the curse yet?
How about some stupid draft trades the T-wolves have made. First in 1996 the T-Wolves draft Ray Allen at number five, and yet they trade him away for Milwaukee Bucks first round pick Stephan Marbury who went third in the draft, if the Bucks wanted Allen so bad why didn’t they select him at number three? Allen is a first ballot Hall of Famer, while Marbury was last seen playing basketball in China…you can just guess how both careers have turned out. Next: They draft Brandon Roy in 2006, and then trade him for Randy Foye, well Roy was a pure all-star before he had knee issues, and Foye is a solid off the bench-kind-of player, but should have never been drafted so high.
Not only do the T-Wolves do dumb trades, like trading Sam Cassell for Marko Jaric, they draft horrible. Not only did they miss out on Shaq in 1993, but instead they have drafted players in the last decade in the first round that have never materialized like Corey Brewer, Wesley Johnson, Rashad McCants, and Johnny Flynn; and not to mention the worst pick ever in Ndudi Ebi.
Three picks after McCants was selected by Minnesota in 2005, Danny Granger who was drafted by Indiana Pacers. Granger now is a all-star player, and has helped the Pacers make it to the playoffs while McCants is no longer in the league. Joakim Noah was drafted at number nine in the 2007 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls, that was two picks after Minnesota selected Corey Brewer.
How about the worst thing the T-Wolves ever did….trading Kevin Garnett. Kevin’s number 21 will someday hang in the Target Center rafters, but for now he plays for the Boston Celtics which is where he won his first NBA championship just a year removed from his T-Wolves days. The T-Wolves traded KG for Al Jefferson, and a bunch of nobody’s and two first round picks. Jefferson only lasted a few seasons in Minnesota, while KG is helping Boston try to win another championship before he calls his career done.
Remember when the T-Wolves drafted O.J Mayo then traded him for Kevin Love? Fans were outraged thinking it was another horrible trade in Minnesota history. Ever since then it has seemed the “curse” was over, because of Love, but then came Flynn, and Johnson, but David Kahn shipped them away before the “curse” returned. Love, and Rubio had fans thinking this franchise might be able to win its third playoff series in franchise history this season, but now that this team will be forced to start the first month of the season without Love and Rubio, it has fans thinking about next season already.
Over the past 20 plus years of Timberwolves basketball; this team has been marked by horrible management, fluke injuries, and some NBA lottery snubs, and a player demanding more money in order to feed his family. Curse-or-no curse, this team has a steep climb if they want to overcome these injuries, and make it back to the playoffs.