If we want to be 100-percent honest with ourselves, then picture this: Rambis is currently sitting atop a steaming hot plate that is hovering above the most active volcano in the world.
It may be an exaggeration but I think you get the point. This was supposed to be the year we grow. This was supposed to be the year we see definite improvement.This was supposed to be the year Minneapolis, once again, felt proud to call themselves the home of a professional basketball team. But now we’re in the same position as last year, arguably even worse if you take into consideration that our draft lottery odds have increased even though our record is a tad better.
It’s been a major disappointment for lack of a better term, and it’s just about that time to aim the finger at someone’s corner. That person has to be head coach Kurt Rambis. The second year head coach has walked through hell — and not back? — since taking command of this broken-down ship. This year we witnessed we’ve witnessed two milestones take shape, 1) Kevin Love’s record-breaking double-double streak and, 2) Kurt Rambis became the second biggest loser in franchise history. And if you think about it, that’s really saying something. Rambis has lost more games than some historically bad Timberwolves coaches including Randy Wittman, Kevin McHale and Bill Musselman.
As difficult as it is to narrow the blame down to one single person, Rambis is actually making a case that it is, indeed, his fault for yet another utterly despicable season. The man thought he could implement one of basketball’s most complex offenses into one of the league’s most dysfunctional and unstable franchises in history. He’s also failed to install any of that down-and-dirty defensive demeanor in any of his players with which he used to play with back in his Laker days. And if you want to get picky, you can also ridicule his shoddy game rotations, his lack of creative in-bounds plays as well as a lack of improvisation in the clutch at the end of games (This one has hurt severely this season).
It’s just all so confusing, though. How could a man not coach the way he played? Following the disgraceful loss against the Sacramento Kings at home, Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press tries to describe to us about Mr. Rambis:
Memo to Rambis: Hey Kurt, these aren’t the Lakers. You can’t just sit stoically on the bench and wait for everything to turn out fine at the end. You need to get up and start hollering. Your charges are screwing up royally on the court. How about correcting stuff on the fly? People often ask me what kind of coach Rambis is. I tell them I don’t know. Is he a good coach? I don’t know. Is he a smart coach? I don’t know. How can anyone tell?”
As detailed and nit-picky as you can be, there’s no real good way to describe Rambis as the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. This team, with as young and inexperienced as they are, needs a coach who isn’t afraid to get in his players’ faces. We need someone who is going to police and discipline his players for their lack of focus on the court, especially Michael Beasley (My two cents: Beasley was only successful at Kansas St. because he had the direction and fiery passion of head coach Frank Martin to follow for that one season). Rambis’ deficiency of passion and fiery will for the game, as a coach, is really the main reason why these players aren’t performing to the best of their ability, and, in turn, is the reason why that improvement we hoped for this season never came to fruition.
With that being said, we still have 11 games left to cap off the year. There’s still time to turn things around and head out the season with a better-than .500 record. But with Boston, Chicago and Miami next up on the docket, things look murky at best.
So here’s to a new offseason, where I hope changes will be made and a step in the right direction finally takes its form. Good luck, Kurt.