Thursday, April 19, 2007

Howling Wolves

(*Note* The following is a piece taken from the Just Joey section of MNSG written about the Minnesota Timberwolves.)

. . . . . . I have this vision in my head of Timberwolves’ GM Kevin McHale paging though scouting reports from years past, landing on a page that says “LeBron James” and quickly gasping.

“I wanna take HIM this year!” He would say, excitingly.

There would only be one problem with this: It’s 2007. His scouting report is already a few years old. I wouldn’t put it past him; reading the wrong player reports from the soon-arriving NBA draft. Imagine the exchange with McHale and David Stern backstage.

McHale: Here you are, Stern. I want this LeBron James guy.

Stern: What? He was drafted three years ago. You can’t have him.

McHale: *Jumping up and down, whining* But I want a LeBron James NOOOOOWW! Get up on that god damn podium and make the call.

Stern: Kevin, he’s already been dra…

McHale: Do it, Stern! F---in’ do it!

Stern walks out to the podium and announces the drafting of LeBron James to the Wolves, leaving with his head hung in shame. The room is silent as other front office officials of the Wolves quietly applaud McHale, nodding in approval. Fred Hoiberg also decides to swallow a bullet.

These are the kinds of things I imagine Kevin McHale doing. I can’t possibly defend the starting five he put out on the floor this year and I can’t say I expected more out of him. It’s incredibly frustrating for me to watch him sit in the stands with a confused look on his face that says “Now why isn’t this working?”

But this year was suppose to be different. We brought it Mike James, after all. He was the guy that could score 20 a game and make the big plays. Everyone looked at his numbers and thought he would be a big acquisition. But the truth is, he put up 20 points per game with a terrible Toronto team. Outside of Chris Bosh, he was their offense. Before James had come here, I honestly didn’t know anything about him, outside of his name.

Mark Blount acted as our ‘center’ this year, impressing all with his range and agility for a big man. He was also a coward on the boards. Ideally, the idea is to have a big man take the rebounding load off of KG so Garnett can run the floor in transition. That’s not to say that Garnett would never have to crash the glass. He’s a great rebounder, but he shouldn’t have to be defined as a guy who must camp under the glass for our team to get a board.

I believe Ricky Davis also proved a lot this year as well. He showed us he can score 42 points and still be apart of a T’Wolves loss and he showed us he can score 13 points and lose as well. Very versatile that man is.

I have no words for Marko Jaric. There are times when he hits a shot from an impossible angle and I have a small bubble of hope for him. There are other times when I wonder if the equipment guy has to tie he shoes for him and suction spit out of his mouth during timeouts. He could be the clumsiest guard in the league; and that could be attributed to his size. I think the only thing he has going for him is his flawlessly gelled hair night in and night out. On nights when he breaks out the little spikes… untouchable.

Our rarity of a first round pick saw us take Randy Foye. Aside from essentially dumping the team on his shoulders when KG was taking a breather, the Wolves also thought it would be fun to exploit his medical condition during a halftime. See, Foye suffers from ‘situs inversus,’ meaning his internal organs are mirrored in comparison to a normal persons. I believe it was more of a public service announcement: “If you ever see Randy Foye passed out in an alley of the Warehouse District, compress the right side of his chest when administering CPR. Anything else will be considered futile.”

I think you get the gist of where I am going with my Wolves rant. The team was poorly put together and McHale acknowledged that. If they ruin their lottery pick this year, that is to say if they take anyone other than a player who can come in a contribute right away, I will forever hold it against McHale for ruining Kevin Garnett’s career. None of the Ndi Ebi crap. . . . . .