Monday, the Timberwolves bought the entire back page of the Star Tribune sports section and printed an open letter to their fans. According to the Associated Press, this is part of the team's attempt "to establish a new relationship with fans and bring some transparency to how it operates." You can see the full, final text here.
Of course, these things always have to go through layer after layer of editing, approval, re-writing, re-editing, legalese, and so on and so forth, before they can actually be published. Luckily, this new transparency works a charm, and so we at Canis Hoopus have procured a copy of the first draft of the letter. It's much the same as the original version, but with some extra information, which we'll print in italics like so.
After the jump, the letter:
The time for talk is over. The time for incredibly patronizing open letters is now!
Okay, not quite. Right after this long-winded and pointless letter. Because we do have a lot of good things to talk about. 47 days without a stapler accident in our front office! New team record!
Fourteen months ago we laid out a plan: We'll have Chinese food every Monday, sandwiches on Tuesday, and take lunch votes Wednesday through Friday. This plan took five months. After that, we threw together a plan for the basketball team, which went something like this: First, we would become a running team that plays an exciting, up-tempo style of basketball. The Phoenix Suns won titles this way, and so can we. (Note to legal: please check our facts on this one, just to be sure.) Second, we would get younger in order to build a team that could improve together and compete for a number of years. After all, it's pretty easy to predict the players that will become future stars, so let's get us some of them. Third, we would instill a culture of hard work throughout our organization. Unlike that shiftless slacker Kevin Garnett. Fourth: transparency. We'll always let you know exactly what's going on, even though we can't figure it out sometimes and the director of basketball operations changes it based on his horoscope as printed in the National Enquirer, and also possibly on the advice of the Great Gazoo, occasionally via long-winded letters.
That was our plan over a year ago and it hasn't changed one iota. (Note to legal: Please check meaning of iota, to be safe.) In the off-season we added young, athletic wing players Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster and Lazar Hayward, who were of course selected because they all have awesome names. They join Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer and Wayne Ellington as guys who can get up and down the floor quickly and shoot the ball from the perimeter, all while missing 75% of their shots from the floor. We re-signed Darko Milicic and added Nikola Pekovic, giving us two more up-tempo big men who have foreign names and thus must be able to run the floor and to run with one of the best outlet passers in the game, Kevin Love. We took advantage of our cap room to acquire a potential head case and star in Michael Beasley, who was the number one prospect in his high school class of 2007 and averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds in his one college season, followed by him setting an NBA record by showing up to 159 consecutive games so high that he thought the net was made of snakes and the floor was made of moon rock. And finally, we added Luke Ridnour, a push-the-pace player who becomes the team's elder statesman at the age of 29 and could lead the team in missed shots in his very first season.
We now have more shooting, athleticism and depth at every position, which has gotta make you wonder about the first twelve months of that vaunted plan, if we botched it so badly last year that upgrades at every position were easily possible this year, which will make us a better team this season. So will we (guffaw) challenge for the (snicker) NBA championship this year?
Not likely. But season tickets are still on sale!
Ouch. Sucks to be you, huh? This honesty thing is a bit painful. And you suckers actually pay money for this! Why don't you just hand over your wallet while we kick you in the shins? AHAHAHA! But the reality is, we still need that one dominant player. And here's our plan for getting him: (Note to legal: find out where the nearest wishing well is, and insert that text here.)
It's possible that that player could already be on our roster. But you've seen our roster, so don't get your hopes up. We have eight guys who were selected in the top seven picks of their respective drafts, and the average age of those players is 22. And we're still trying to get ahold of Hasheem Thabeet and Kwame Brown's agents. So the potential is there for someone to emerge. Cross your fingers! But in case that doesn't happen, we'll continue to manage our salary cap so that we have the flexibility to make that one move that can change a franchise, like brainwashing Carmelo Anthony into thinking that Minneapolis is an tropical paradise an hour north of Miami.
We are confident, however, that this team will be exciting to watch. We still get a thrill out of that video of train derailments. For the first time in years Wolves fans are going to feel like they're missing out if they aren't in the arena. You'll want to be there on the night that Kevin Love finally snaps and punches Kurt Rambis, for instance! See Michael Beasley run in fear from his shoes because he thinks they're eating his feet! See Jonny Flynn break a backboard with his jump shot! See Tom Hanneman cry quietly to himself during timeouts! So in addition to player development we're working hard on fan development, starting with variable pricing and Flex Pack ticket packages that let you pick the games and seats that you want. These start at $0, wherein you stay home and do something better with your time. The bottom line for fans is: We don't know how to use colons correctly. Also: We're making it easier than ever for you to be part of our turnaround.
There's been a lot of talk this off-season. Unless you count local media coverage. They're pretty much ignoring us, and readers don't seem to notice. The naysayers certainly have been vocal. And the yeasayers all got new medication. And while we can understand a certain amount of skepticism, we know we've turned a corner. And fallen down a flight of stairs and landed in a puddle, but hey, who's counting? And we're anxious to get after that first tipped ball so we can start to prove it.
Enough talk. It's time to play. But first, we have to make four more confusing trades, so hold tight.
Oh, wait. We forgot to talk about Rubio. You know, the guy who didn't play all that well at the World Championships, who doesn't want to play here at all and who we're counting on to save the franchise even though we're not completely sure he can play at this level? Actually, you're right. Let's forget to talk about him.
Next time. The plan will be done by then. We promise. Now: Chinese food in the conference room!
(Disclaimer: Humorous intent! Also, I'm not nearly this negative about the upcoming season, have bought my tickets, and am actually excited for the season to begin. Consider this to be written from the perspective of a casual fan and not me, if that makes sense.)