Hey guys, gather round. We’ve just received another letter from your favorite, and our favorite Prez of Basketball Operations, David Kahn.
Calm down, calm down. I know you’re excited. I am too. Remember the last letter he wrote to us? Boy, does he have a way with words. There’s just something about a man that has unconventional dialect. Makes you feel all warm inside.
But enough of that, let’s read this glorious letter. As usual, I’ll translate for you mortals because I have that type of training. And you, of course, don’t.
Dear Timberwolves Fans and Supporters:
I love it when he calls me a “supporter”.
I am writing this to you while on the plane from Minneapolis to Memphis, on Friday night following our loss to Dallas. We are 1-9, having lost nine in a row. Our record was to be expected – but it will not be accepted.
Big difference, I think.
Translation: I knew we would suck. You knew we would suck. Let’s just all pretend that we actually care that we suck. And no, I really don’t think it’s a big difference. But you already knew that.
What matters most to me is how we respond to adversity this season – knowing it will come in heavy doses occasionally. Our last nine opponents are a collective 51-30, and there will be similar tough stretches throughout the season.
Translation: I just want to see how we respond to adversity. Do I care how we respond? Of course not. I’ll just rattle off the the collective records of the teams that are monkey stompin’ us every night. That will make us all feel better right?
Specifically, I am eager to determine if the team:
• Improves week to week, month to month, first half to second half. This should occur as everything becomes more familiar and our young players develop. Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington in particular need to take advantage of the rare opportunity to play significant minutes as rookies – to learn what works and what doesn’t work at this level and eliminate the mistakes.
Translation: Improvement is always good, right? And yes, Jonny Flynn especially needs to take advantage of this opportunity because if I had it my way, my starting point guard would have a baby face and a Spanish accent. Boy, did I love our Spain rendezvous. We’ll always have our summer in Spain, Ricky.
• Displays a physical and mental toughness, even when we lose. We cannot lose as we did at Golden State – without a fight. I liked the fact that we fought Dallas until the end tonight and won the fourth quarter. Our crowd appreciated it. I expect that to be the norm. I not only expect that to be part of our culture, but also will demand it.
Translation: Forget winning games. That’s for teams that actually want to compete for championships. We want to win quarters. You appreciate that, right? Well, you better start. Because that my friend, is all you’re gonna get out of us.
• Starts running and attacking more on offense, as Kurt and I envision this team playing in the long term.
Translation: “Showtime” baby! You thought I forgot didn’t you? Nope. It’s always been my vision to bring “Showtime” to Minnesota. I just like to say that Kurt and I envision this. Makes him feel useful, ya know?
On that last point, it has been hard for us to sustain a running game without our best rebounder, Kevin Love, and with Al Jefferson still not all the way back from his ACL knee injury. And our defense has been poor at times. It is extremely difficult to run when you are taking the ball out of the basket. But make no mistake – this will become a running team and that will be our identity.
Translation: Make no mistake. We are completely committed to bringing “Showtime” to Minnesota. We will never play to the strengths of our available players. Doing that would be absolutely ludicrous. “Showtime” must go on. Even if it makes not a bit of sense. That my friend is commitment!
I also don’t want to use Kevin and Al as excuses. Everybody has injuries. Everybody has tough parts of the schedule. Everybody has adversity. We will not be a team that makes excuses.
Translation: Injuries? Tough parts of the schedule? Everyone has those. That’s nothing. Try losing out on the best player in the last 5 drafts. That’s right, I said. Just look at that face.
At times like these, I am motivated to work harder. I want to scout more, watch more film, crunch more numbers, ask more questions. I know Kurt and the coaching staff feel the same. The coaches are the strength of our ballclub right now – I am proud to be working with them. We all recognized when we signed up for this mission that it takes a Herculean effort, from all corners, to turn around a franchise and make it championship-caliber.
We obviously are not working hard enough yet. We need to do more. And we will.
Translation: We’re not working hard enough. Not enough “Showtime”. Not enough quarters won. Not enough letters written. I’ll change all of this pronto. Especially the letters. Writing one for next month as we speak.
Ahhh, refreshing. I don’t know about you but I’m ready to tackle another 1-9 stretch. Whaddya say? Full steam ahead? Full steam ahead!
From David Kahn (Star Tribune)