Let’s face it, Minnesota, the basketball gods are punishing us right now.
Look at the list of significant injuries our team has endured up to this point:
- Ricky Rubio tears his ACL last year, meaning we start the year without our point guard.
- Kevin Love mysteriously injures his hand in the preseason and is out for the beginning of the season as well.
- And now Chase Budinger will miss three months due a meniscus tear that will require knee surgery.
That’s five, count ‘em, five injuries. You know, a whole starting lineup.
This is what we did to anger the gods:
- Trading Ray Allen to the Milwaukee Bucks for Stephon Marbury in 1996.
- Choosing to retain Marbury and let Tom Gugliotta walk after signing Kevin Garnett to a six-year, $126 million contract in 1998.
- Signing Joe Smith to an under-the-table contract that cost us three first round picks in 2000.
- Trading Brandon Roy for Randy Foye and cash considerations on draft day in 2006.
- Drafting three point guards while passing over Stephen Curry and Bandon Jennings in 2009.
So there you have it, “5 for 5”—a poor man’s 30 for 30 documentary.
The gods saw that a Wolves team led by Rubio and Love and supplemented by Peković, Roy and Budinger could potentially make the playoffs and were unhappy about it.
After all, current GM David Kahn was reaping the benefits from Kevin McHale’s one potentially redemptive move when he traded OJ Mayo for Love on draft day. Furthermore, he was fortunate Rubio’s skills had translated the Spanish game to the NBA.
Spiteful gods with no regard for a player’s well being, they began to go to work on the Timberwolves’ best players.
This is how it went down:
Rubio: “Oh, so you think you can just waltz in from Europe and dominate the world’s best basketball league with your sublime passes and sexy visage? Wham! There goes your knee!”
Love: “Hey guy-that-looks-like-most-white-guys-in-Minnesota, you think you’re going to get a double-double in 82 games this seasons? Bam! Try doing that without your knuckles!”
Budinger: “Yo, guy-that-makes-the-rest-of-the-roster-look-tan, you think you can be a contributor off the bench? Schzam! No meniscus for you!”
The gods went easier on Peković and Roy. After all, Peković is just so lovable and Roy’s an established veteran with some clout in the league.
Peković: “Woah, Mr. World Traveling Teddy Bear, let me slow you down there before you run off to Montenegro!”
In the end, we may be able to fend off the basketball gods.
The MO after the injuries to Rubio and Love was to go .500 until they came back.
If this team can chug along while our key players are convalescing, maybe just maybe we could make the playoffs and have a chance to be an opening round spoiler.
Unfortunately, that would require a little help from the basketball gods.
Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.