With the NBA Lockout threatening to delay the start of the NBA regular season, loyal Timberwolves must wait impatiently for a season to start following what has to be the most exciting offseason since the summer of 2003. That summer the Wolves added Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell to give the Kevin Garnett-led Wolves their first serious chance at making a deep run in the playoffs. The Timberwolves would advance to the Western Conference Finals that year after defeating the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Ironically, at the time the Kings were led by head coach Rick Adelman, who has now accepted the same position with the Timberwolves. Adelman has currently accumulated 945 wins as a head coach, ranking 8thall-time in NBA history.
The Timberwolves have now added the most accomplished head coach in their history. Adelman is taking over a team that already had plenty of upside before this summer’s additions of 2009 #5 overall pick Ricky Rubio and 2011 #2 overall pick Derrick Williams. If nothing else, Rubio may be the most entertaining point guard the Wolves have ever brought to the team, and Derrick Williams is probably the most athletic.
The Wolves have been on a steep decline to the basement of the NBA since trading Kevin Garnett in the summer of 2007. They have not made the playoffs since that magical 2003-04 season. The loyal Timberwolves fan base has long been tortured by disappointing playoff appearances, bad trades, and terrible draft picks. Now the potential delay of the upcoming season adds to the agony. The team finally now appears to be taking the right steps towards energizing the fan base again, and actually offering some hope of eventually getting back into the playoffs. Just when the Wolves truly have something to be excited about, they might have to wait weeks or even months to get started.
Fans might have to continue to only speculate the potential of what might be the start of something great in Minnesota in 2011-12. Here’s to hoping the owners and players learn from the NFL lockout by completing a deal in time for the start of the regular season.