So although I really don’t want take too much time to talk about him, this wouldn’t be a true Minnesota Timberwolves blog without a proper farwell to the man that has had his hand on just about every action the Wolves made in the past decade and a half. (Save for maybe thinking the “Timberwolves Extreme Team” would work. Then again maybe that was his idea…) So here goes…
Goodbye Kevin McHale, thank you for your…uh…time and…uh… service to the Timberwolves.
Wait, wait, wait. I have to stop and ask myself, “Am I really thankful?”
Honestly I can’t really say. If I were to scribble out a two-sided pros and cons list it honestly would have only one thing on the pros side and about 1,000 on the cons. The only thing that trips me up is that one single pro on my list is two letters that are in xxxxxxx-large font. You know what the two letters are. His career as a Timberwolf and the memories I have of him just might be enough, all freaking alone, for me to offer up a small thanks to Mr. McHale for his time at the helm of my beloved Wolves. Those two letters were just that good and there won’t ever be another Timberwolf quite like him in the same way that every Michael Jordan comparison will always fall short. But then I glance back to the other side. My eyes start running down the list, which my hand is still throbbing from scribbling so many things down on so fast. It’s a depressing list. It really trully is. Might be the most depressing list I’ve ever made. Just thinking about how bad the basketball decisions were makes me cringe and my head hurt. It all started the day the Wolves traded a rock solid shooting guard with one of the prettiest shots the game would see, a player that some would even call “Jesus”, for a young point guard from the streets of NY who would one day be the goofiest looking player in the NBA with a tattoo on his head. Sure it looked great at first. And for a season it looked like the Wolves were onto something. But alas it didn’t last, it was just a mirage in the desert, as the young pg turned out to be one of the worst teammates in league history and wanted out to be the man somewhere else. A little further down I see that 3-team trade. The big ? is why didn’t we get the other pg in that deal? You know the one that would help lead the Wolves to their only great season in history. But there are so many what if’s on my cons list. There’s just about every boneheaded move a GM could make. I’ve got drafting some horrendously bad players on potential over proven college vets. The one that stings the most is his second attempt at striking draft gold with a tall lanky skinny kid whose name sounded like you just mumbled it. That’s of course when we had first round picks. Because during McHale’s time they were only worth having when there wasn’t an average role player to illeagaly sign under the table. Speaking of role players, there’s more than a few with a nice fat contract on my list that was handed to them by our former leader. All of them got at least 2x what they were really worth. And I’m looking and I’m looking… and I can’t find a single one of them that played significant minutes, or did anything significant for that matter, on any other NBA team but ours (and those contribuitions are suspect in and of themselves). In fact I can’t think of any of them that did anything significant after he threw the money at them. The only role player that turned out to be any good that the Wolves have ever had besides is the only one that McHale decided not to throw big bucks too. No worries he only went on to win a Finals MVP in another midwest city. Then there’s all the trades on my list. Of course there’s the one I already mentioned that started the list and of course the obligatory 10 year anniversary trade to that one, the one with 6th pick for the 5th again. We only lost the ROY in that one. Of course the one thing that is probably right on the middle of the pro/con line is the acquisiton of “the other pg in the trade” I mentioned earlier as well as that guy that once choked his coach. They came together to give us one crazy season in which we were the best team in the West and very well could have won it all if it weren’t for a dash of Wolves bad luck with an injury in the conference finals. So why do I put this somewhere in the middle? Well certainly we had one memorable season. Then again we couldn’t keep it together the next year and it ended up giving our superstar a taste of something he’d never again get in Minnesota. Of course once all the bad peripheral moves could no longer be made McHale then went about trading away the franchise. Only problem was he waited too late, that or he just wanted to deal with his best bud. You see the Bulls were ready to trade a budding young SF, a freak of an athlete pf, and a future 1st round draft pick. (Presumably their 2008 pick, yes that one, the one that became the #1 Pick and another ROY.) Ok enough reliving this horrendous list of mistake after mistake.
Sigh. Yawn. Ok I’ll say it, Thank You Kevin McHale… for drafting Kevin Garnett.
For everything else though, I’m sorry but I can only say good riddance.