After a seventh first round exit, I can't help but think how lucky Wolves fans are.
I posted this article on the message board at twolvescentral.com after the Wolves were eliminated from the 2003 NBA Playoffs:
Wow guys. Think about it. Think about how long we've been stuck in this first round rut. Seven years. Seven. That's over a third of my life. I was a freshmen in high school when this all started. And yet, now that the season's over once again, I can't help but think how lucky we are. We've made the playoffs seven straight years. How many other teams can say that? Three. We got to watch our team win more games than ever. How many teams had better regular seasons? Three. And I know just making the playoffs and winning 51 aren't what this league is all about. I'm well aware that none of us on this board are going to be satisfied until we get a title. But that's just not possible this year. So instead of feeling down, instead of bashing Mc Hale and Flip, instead of thinking of ways to blow up one of the best teams in the league, just be happy for what we have. Because in my opinion, we've got a lot more than any other team in the league..... We've got Kevin Garnett.
Feel free to argue with me. Go ahead and disagree. But in all honesty, I'd rather have Kevin Garnett on my team than to be like a Lakers fan and have three-consecutive titles. Titles are great. My other teams have given me three of them. And while it was the ultimate adrenaline rush when the Patriots exceeded my wildest dreams and beat the Rams - it was just an adrenaline rush. It ended. I get butterflies in my stomach every now and then when I watch the Super Bowl XXXVI DVD, and the memory will last a lifetime. But having been in that position, and knowing what it feels like to finally have your team win it all, it's just not as satisfying as being able to root for KG night in and night out. No other athlete has the heart, the enthusiasm, and the loyalty of KG. We've gotten the opportunity to watch this incredible athlete, and more importantly great human being, mature from a lanky kid fresh out of highschool into a man. We've had our hearts broken right along with him when the season ended the past six years, and once again last night. We've felt the betrayal he felt when Marbury abandonded ship, and felt the shame he felt when we learned of the Joe Smith scandal. We cried the same tears when we found out Malik died. Do you really want to trade that for a couple of guys on the Bulls and a draft pick? I'll take Kevin Garnett over a title anyday. I've done it for the last 8 years, and I'd to it for the next 80 years if I had too. Did you hear John Stockton's interview after the game. He wasn't worried that he never won a title. For him it wasn't about the end result, it was all about the journey. You guys can decide for yourself, but I'm taking my journey with KG...
This team is going to get better. I fully believe that the Wolves will be major players in the offseason dealings. We've got ourselves a draft pick. We've got a nice piece of trade bait in Brandon. And there's a swarm of free agents out there to sign. I think management has finally realized what it will take to reach the next level. I think Glen Taylor will finally put his money where his ethics should have been, and get us the players we need. I honestly believe that we won't be sitting here a year from now talking about first round exit number eight.
But if we are....who are we to complain? Seven Years. Seven long years. Think about what's happened over the last seven years. Columbine. September 11th. The War in Iraq. And those are just the big things that grab the headlines. It's kind of pathetic that in spite of all those things we complain because a basketball team couldn't win four games out of seven. It's ironic that some of the biggest problems we face are dealing with message board trolls when U.S. soldiers are dealing with Iraqi militants. I'm not getting on you guys. I do the same thing. If anything, I do it more. It's just that last night I had my eyes opened a little bit, and I realized something a little more clearly. We can complain all we want about what's happened to the Timberwolves. We can make ourselves miserable thinking about the frustrations of the past seven years... Or we can just be thankful for what we've been able to experience. Stop and think about where you could be, and think about where you are. Do you still want to complain about seven years bad luck?
...Cause it seems like 7th Heaven to me.