"Remember Wolves fans, hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."
Sure, tonight didn't go our way. Maybe a lot of nights haven't gone our way recently. Game nights. Lottery nights. Draft nights. Being a Wolves' fan definitely isn't for those who are looking for easy wins or for those who aren't down for the long haul.
And yet, despite all of the many issues with the Timberwolves - issues that have been listed out so many times by so many writers that I don't need to mention them here - I'm not trading in my black-and-blue Wolves jersey for a jersey that's purple-and-gold, green-and-white or red-and-black. I'm not calling up my season ticket rep and telling her that I'm not coming back next year. I'm not finding something else to do on game nights.
I still have hope.
I hope that Jonny Flynn will be a serviceable point guard, no matter how many poor decisions he makes with the basketball.
I hope that Wes Johnson proves the stats wrong and becomes an example of a player over 23 who still blossoms in the NBA. Sure, trends say he won't be above-average, but maybe he'll be an exception to that trend.
I hope that Darko, even if he never becomes the All-Star that Kahn wants him to be, is happy playing basketball again and shrugs off some of the "bust" label that he's carried around with him for years. Maybe he's still the same player on the stat sheet, but maybe he's not the same player as a whole.
I hope that David Kahn, despite questionable moves in the past, makes the trades, signs the free agents and picks the draftees that will improve this ball club in the future.
I hope that Kevin Love sees that there is a fan base here that is loyal, enthusiastic and willing to support players who give effort and truly want to win. I hope that he stays in Minnesota and that we can build around him in a way that we could never seem to do with our other superstar.
I hope that the new Target Center renovations happen so that more people come out to games and so that the Twin Cities become passionate about basketball once again. There are few things in life - at least in my life - that are as enjoyable as when 15,000+ people are all on their feet, cheering on their team.
I hope that the CBA negotiations go smoothly and successfully so that next season starts without delay. This NBA season, regardless of how the Wolves have played, has been one of the best that I've ever seen. So many plot lines. So many competitive teams. So many individual stories and terrific players. I don't want to lose that to squabbling about money.
I have hope for the Wolves because there's nothing else to do but hope. I could be mad about all that's gone wrong with this team. I could be depressed and threaten to never come back again. Certainly, many people have chosen that route and its hard to blame them. But I'm not going to root for some other team. And I'm not going to give up basketball, the game that I love.
I might overlook some things. I might make excuses. I might act irrational in the face of clear evidence. I don't care. If I stopped thinking that the Wolves or their players ever had a chance to improve or get better, I don't know what I'd do.
So, when I see a bad play, I believe that it will go better the next time. When a shot misses, I cheer for the next one to go in. No matter if we win or we lose, and no matter how much we lose by, there's always next game.
That's me. I'm not saying its right or wrong. I'm just saying that for this fan, I choose hope over despair.
I believe that hope is always a good thing..