Grateful for Timberwolves Basketball

David Berding | Credit: Getty Images

This will not be a traditional season preview. There will be no predictions or prognostications about how the Wolves’ season goes or which players will play well. This is simply an expression of feelings now that the Minnesota Timberwolves will play regular season basketball for the first time in nearly 10 months. The NBA is back, and the Timberwolves are 0–0 with a wave of basketball-starved fans behind them.

 

Timberwolves basketball can feel joyless, demoralizing, incompetent, and downright tiresome. It is also exciting, entertaining, amusing, and most of all full of hope. Timberwolves fandom means feeling many of those emotions during a season, a game, or occasionally all at the same time. While the Wolves have not always been good to those of us who choose them as our favorite team, we continue to watch, support, and be grateful for so many of the emotions they bring to us. That is why Wolves fans like myself felt a void and emptiness during the team’s 9.5 month hiatus. For much of a normal year, the Timberwolves are a wonderful topic of conversation, content creating, or just to think about when you are falling asleep at night. Suddenly that was gone, and at the worst possible time we lost the distraction that the Wolves provide from the real world. Of course there were many things that happened over the Summer of 2020, especially in Minnesota, that deserved our attention more than basketball, but still we missed our favorite team to help us all through it. Now it is back. We get to watch Wolves basketball games that count in the standings, and we need to remember the things that we missed while it was gone, so we can truly enjoy it.

 

Karl-Anthony Towns was missed for so many reasons. We missed watching a 7ft. tall human shoot like Steph Curry and get into brawls with noted villain Joel Embiid. We missed seeing him become the leader of a team and face of a franchise. Most of all, we missed seeing him happy. The entirety of Wolves nation and NBA fans around the world seemingly wanted to give Karl a collective hug when tragedy struck his family as his mother passed away from complications with COVID-19. I am sure the grief of losing his mother and other family members recently will not allow him to be truly happy anytime soon, but seeing him smile with his teammates and perform well on the court will certainly warm our hearts. We get to watch him play basketball, and a lot of it. I am grateful for Karl-Anthony Towns playing meaningful basketball on my television again.

 

In case you had not heard, the Timberwolves drafted #1 overall in the 2020 NBA draft. They selected a light-hearted, charismatic, 19 year old named Anthony Edwards. There are plenty of questions about his future in the NBA, and he will make plenty of mistakes this season, but I will watch him through the ups and downs. We should be grateful to have a 6’6″ and 230lb super-athlete on our team who could develop into one of the most fun wing players in the league. We should also be grateful for the opportunity to watch a 19 year old develop and mature into a person that Wolves fans can be proud of. I am very grateful for the opportunity to see Anthony Edwards play for my favorite team.

 

No hard feelings towards Andrew Wiggins, but I am very grateful that he was swapped out for D’Angelo Russell. No more Jeff Teague at point guard. We will be watching a playmaking machine run the pick and roll with the star center. Russell will find shooters Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez, who I am also grateful for, to rain three point shots.

 

Ricky Rubio is back, which still does not feel real to many Timberwolves fans. We are forever thankful for the Spanish Unicorn.

 

We are grateful for Josh Okogie, Jarrett Culver, Jake Layman and all of the other players on the team. Any future players that Gersson Rosas acquires, and there will likely be some, we are grateful for them as well. Speaking of Rosas, we may not always agree with every move he makes, but he clearly has a plan for how he wants to build the roster. When was the last time we could confidently say that as Wolves fans? I am grateful for a President of Basketball Operations like Rosas.

 

There are so many things Wolves fans are excited about in this upcoming season, and many of them we do not even know exist yet. We get to watch a young team that is heavy on talent but light on experience work together towards a common goal. Yes, this is all cheesy and cliché. At the end of the day, so many of the real world issues we have to face are still there. The Wolves coming back will not fix that, but they will make us laugh, make us want to cry, entertain us, and challenge us. I am happy to go along for the ride during the 20–21 season. Minnesota Timberwolves basketball is back, and I am grateful.

 

-Jerry W.

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