From December 12th to opening night, I’ll be releasing a random essay on each team in the league. This post is about the Minnesota Timberwolves. You can follow the series with the “2011-12 Team Previews” and “Zach Attacks” tags at the bottom of the page.
We’ve become a group of collective Veruca Salts.
We can be a bit of an impatient society.
If a page on the internet doesn’t load within eight seconds, we begin to wonder if our internet service provider is part of a huge conspiracy to steal our hard-earned money from us. If we’re in the drive thru of a McDonalds and it takes longer than two minutes from placing our order to driving away with our food as we shovel fries in our face like it’s an antidote to some kind of poison we’ve ingested, we swear we’ll never go back to such an establishment because of their poor service… you know… unless they bring the McRib back.
I honestly believe we don’t mean to be so impatient. We’ve just been conditioned into being a problem solving society and the quicker the problem is solved, the quicker we can go back to spending our free time looking at YouTube videos of kittens performing Lady Gaga songs. Twitter was basically invented because we can’t get our thoughts out quickly enough for the whole world to consume. Message boards and Facebook statuses weren’t quick enough. We needed to be able to enter 140 characters and hit send without having to wait.
Watch Twitter slow down some time during a big world or sporting event. People freak THE HELL out. They start cursing Twitter, eviscerating the horrendous technology and lack of server power. When the 2K Sports online servers are choppy or down, we wonder why we even own NBA 2K12 because the computer is apparently unworthy of our competitive fire. Hell, people were upset with the people from 2K Sports when they were forced to wait until rookies signed their rookie contracts once the lockout was over until they could insert them into the game.
We’ve become a hypochondriac society that immediately assumes the worst and instead of waiting to see if a child just naturally settles down, we pump them full of Adderall to put them in a deep sea of tranquility. Some kids are just a little crazier by nature. They have energy that they need to burn off by running around and getting into stuff. But we’ve become so intent on just focusing on ourselves, we don’t have the patience for the children to calm down. We prescribe placidity because it’s just easier on adults.
The reason for all of this impatience is we’re distracted so easily. Chances are half of the people who clicked this article never even made it to this sentence. They were distracted by something shiny. We see glimmering objects, lose our train of thought and just move on to our next toy or vice of choice.
Since 2007, the Timberwolves fans have been looking for shiny objects to distract us. Kevin Garnett was our lifeblood as basketball fans. He was perennially one of the best players in the NBA and something to hang our hat on when times were getting rough. As soon as he was dealt to Boston, we needed a distraction from the arduous process of rebuilding in the NBA.
Al Jefferson was not shiny. Have you seen him play basketball? It’s not that he’s bad because he’s really not. He’s just boring as hell to watch play basketball. By the third pump fake, you’re starting to thumb through a magazine. By the eighth pump fake, you start looking up the rule for how long a player can have his back to the basket before it’s a violation. By the 13th pump fake, you’re out cold. Al Jefferson was young and produced fun stats, but he’s basketball tryptophan.
We tried to talk ourselves into Randy Foye being shiny. We tried to talk ourselves into Corey Brewer being an exciting new thing. We waited for Kurt Rambis to force himself into seeing that Kevin Love was the shiniest thing we’ve had since KG was prowling the court. Until Love broke out as the best rebounder in the NBA last season, there was not a whole lot of fun that could be had for us while watching a Wolves game.
Now? We’ve got Ricky Rubio finally dribbling through our Skyway and Derrick Williams waiting to pounce on any lobs tossed toward the rim.
We don’t need to find distractions around the game. We won’t be waiting to see if we make it on Kiss Cam. We won’t be trying to win a Dougie contest when the jumbotron pans to us (okay, we’ll still do that). Wolves fans finally get to enjoy the action on the court.
During this rebuilding process, we’ve been trying to be patient. However, the way our society has (d)evolved over the last 10 to 20 years, that patience has been tested like you can’t believe. We’ve been the butt of Kahn jokes, point guard jokes, and mathematically eliminated by September jokes. We’ve been praying that Jonny Flynn will get it or Darko Milicic will figure out he can’t make his left-handed hook.
Sitting through four years of soul-crushing and questionable rebuilding practices are quickly vanishing with each Love double-double, Rubio behind the back pass, and Derrick Williams baptism at the rim. We finally have Rick Adelman, A REAL COACH, guiding the process. There is no more waiting for Kevin Love to get minutes. There is no waiting for Ricky Rubio to want to play here.
There is no more waiting, period.
We want our franchise turning the corner and we want it NOW.
After attempting to be patient for so long, it looks like our golden goose is finally shipping.