Minnesota Timberwolves: ESPN ranks fanbase fourth-most miserable

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 26: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 26: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the fourth-most miserable fanbase, according to ESPN’s Sports Misery Index. So, how do you feel?

It’s no secret that the fanbase of the Minnesota Timberwolves is tortured.

But if you were to rank the most miserable of all the miserable fanbases in the NBA, what team’s fans would you rank as more destitute than Wolves Nation?

Well, ESPN has the answer, with the latest release of their Sports Misery Index.

They went ahead and ranked the four major sports in the U.S. based on the following criteria: championships, playoff berths, playoff wins, heartbreaks, rival comparison, and a bonus for going 25 or more years without a championship.

Check, check, check, check, check, and … check.

Last year, the Wolves were only at No. 30 out of all pro sports and No. 6 in the NBA. But after back-sliding and not making the playoffs in 2019 for the 14th time in 15 years, they rose to No. 17 in the overall rankings and No. 4 among basketball teams.

On the NBA-only version of the story at ESPN.com, the rankings for each category are listed. The Wolves rank first (meaning last) in playoff wins and No. 2 (second-to-last) in playoff berths. They are No. 30 in heartbreaks, which is really only because they haven’t been close enough to have hearts broken.

(Some of us would of course make the case for the Sam Cassell hip injury in the 2004 playoffs as a prolonged version of heartbreak, but I guess that doesn’t fit the criteria.)

The NBA fanbases that outpace Wolves fans in heartbreak?

No. 1 is the Sacramento Kings, who actually ranked first in the overall rankings of all four major sports leagues. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2006 and haven’t won a playoff series since 2004 — coincidentally, when the Wolves and Kings each advanced to the Western Conference Finals and played each other.

The 2002 Western Conference Finals that were affected by the Tim Donaghy officiating scandal also played a role in this ranking.

Also out-ranking the Wolves are the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks. The teams that moved behind the Wolves in misery were the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers.

The fact that the Wolves have won exactly two playoff series in 30 years of existence is shocking when you say it out loud, and there’s a case to be made that the misery should be higher than No. 4. But all things considered, this ranking feels about right.

Things do feel as though they’re finally headed in a positive direction under Gersson Rosas and Ryan Saunders. Then again, we’re only two years removed from all the optimism surrounding the Jimmy Butler acquisition and all the changes made by Tom Thibodeau.

Next. 5 realistic big-name targets for the Wolves. dark

Oh well. Misery is misery, and Wolves fans have experienced plenty of it.