Reinvitiation to a Barf Growing
I would hope that some of you have asked yourself the question "why did Bethlehem Shoals beg for our financial support, pledge increased activity, and then fade in and out like the nuclear dawn?" Well, the answer is big and plain: I haven't had a home, and while I've experienced much hospitality, I've also been semi-visiting people since Independence Day. Now, the march appears to be over. I live in Seattle, and sign a lease tomorrow. Then, the deluge.
I also have been quite worried for my colleague Dr. LIC in these last few days, and troubled by my inability to internet-rush to his aid. You all know of him as our resident Garnett angst-pourer, but it needs to be told: dude has some seriously legitimate ties to the earliest stages of this franchise. Thus, it hurts me internally for him to say that (paraphrased) he was first and foremost a Garnett fan. KG may be the most impossibly iconic and anthemic member of the Association, the kind of folk hero whose accessibility only benefits from cartoonish vitality. However, I don't think that the Great Doctor need throw aside his affinity for the Wolves, since home teams are perfectly excusable if someone outside of your town might likewise give a fuck. I would imagine that only makes liberated fandom sweeter—it's a kind of metaphysical bragging rights.
In service to my comrade, I decided to take up the unthinkable and take an honest look at the Minnesota roster. I know that to all the world, this team smells like a smoking crater. Upon inspection, however, there are some not altogether unpleasant secrets waiting to speak to us next year. Regardless of how much they lose, the Wolves should, in my humble judgment, be a League Pass favorite. I wouldn't be amazed if I end up seeing more of them than I do the Celtics; as I noted last week, there's a lot more here to surprise and discover.
For one thing, there's that transplanted Celtics bunch. I can't even tell you who Minny's coach is at the moment (Randy Wittman, whatever that means), but there's no way he's as hamstrung as Doc Rivers. Rivers is a shaky strategist who is at his best when he lets 'em play. In Boston, however, no one knew how to play, there were too many worthy (and needy) pieces to get out on the floor in any consistent, chemistry-salting way, and the fans wanted immediate gratification. Jefferson may not be a given All-Star, but with minutes and levity's confidence, he can grow into his game next season. Ryan Gomes has one of the finest barbers in the NBA, and in the West could turn into a swank, Luke Walton-esque helper. Gerald Green may be forever lost at sea, and yet in a supposed wasteland of a team his ability to throw up a streaky 15 might not be seen as false progress.
It's historically significant that this trade went seven-for-one, since that's never happened before. It also makes it far too easy to view it as "Minnesota got a mediocre Boston team," which it's actually a young nucleus made into welcome refugees. Fine, Garnett's willingness to play in Beantown makes it safe for black people; I still can't imagine why, at this juncture in America, the Celtics would be close to anyone's ideal professional situation. Especially for the young and wary (or naive). They've been liberated, and introduced to the already relatively hilarious Wolves pack of Ricky Davis, Randy Foye, McCants, Craig Smith, and new Face of the Francise Corey Brewer. Who, to exaggerate something the Recluse said, might be the second coming of KG in a few key ways to make The Cities forget.
I can't begin to tell you that this trade made Minnesota better. But it's certainly going to do better things for the persons they acquired, and stop the nightmare of Boston's being a exercise in faulty player development and draftee over-crowding. At the very least, we should be thankful that said knot has been set loose, and that so many intriguing figures have come to roost on one cloud. And if Telfair shows up with a straight face, there will be no end to the tears and punchlines we will bleed.