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Media Day, Dunks After Dark....Are the Timberwolves Mimicking the Spurs?

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Simply, there will be things happening today. First, the Minnesota Timberwolves are hosting their Media Day at the Target Center. Later, in Mankato, the Wolves will show off their athleticism during Dunks After Dark. Canis Hoopus will be represented at both events. Do you think the Wolves are trying to be like the Spurs?

Spencer Platt

For me, jerseys styles are trivial-- it's only a uniform. For others, witnessing the unveiling of new uniforms (sleeved uniforms, in particular) can provoke outrage. When the Timberwolves first sported the 'Lights-Out' black, sleeved alternates last season I remember mixed reactions. Mostly, though, it felt as if a majority were unhappy about them.

Yesterday, the Golden State Warriors showcased new, slate uniforms at Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco. The Warriors will sport these sleeved-alternates during Saturday games this season. Someone pointed out these kits bare a striking resemblance to a trash bag.

Rather than surprising the fanbase by sending the Warriors onto the court wearing uniforms no one has seen before, team President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts said it made sense "to allow the power of Twitter and social media, along with our fans, to tell the story of our latest alternate uniform."

Thus, because Twitter's headquarters is, as Welts describes, in their backyard, the Warriors thought it would be a unique way to promote the new jerseys.

Slate represents not only the technology and innovation synonymous with the Bay Area, but also the body armor for the team on the court. The Warriors will debut the Slate Alternate Uniforms when the team faces the Charlotte Hornets at home on Saturday, November 15, and continue to wear the Slate Alternate Uniforms on Saturday games throughout the 2014-15 regular season.

I'll say it: I like these uniforms. The Basketball Twitter community just doesn't seem to like very many ideas. At the least, these are better looking than anything the Oklahoma City Blue will wear this season.

Can the Wolves become the Spurs?

The Timberwolves will never become the Spurs.

In this column, published yesterday, Jon Krawczynski says the Wolves "are looking to the San Antonio Spurs as the gold standard for the arrangement."

This may be true, but it could also be the Timberwolves are another team merely partaking in a recent trend among NBA front-offices.

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The Spurs employ Gregg Popovich as the President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, while RC Buford performs front-office duties as the General Manager. As a tandem, Popovich and Buford have overseen basketball operations in San Antonio since 1996. As you know the Spurs have fared pretty well for themselves, over the last 15-or-20 years.

This summer, the Detroit Pistons hired Stan Van Gundy to become the President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. Jeff Bower was hired as the Pistons' new General Manager. Van Gundy's last coaching gig was with the Orlando Magic, where he worked under/with Otis Smith-- the Magic's General Manager and President of Basketball Operations

In 2012, shortly after Van Gundy was fired, Smith resigned from his front-office gig with the Magic. Smith became head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive, the Detroit Pistons' new NBA Development League affiliate, on September 4th of this year. My guess is those two have sustained a solid rapport and have a sensible understanding about how the other thinks and works.

When Van Gundy decides he wants to assign a player to some minutes in the D-League, Smith will know what said player must work on during practices and games.

Despite Steve Kerr having never coached in the NBA, he was hired as head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Kerr was given a considerably large contract by comparison to what other rookie coaches have historically been paid. Keep in mind, though, he has worked in the NBA as a general manager in the past. Kerr was GM of the Phoenix Suns from 2007 to 2010,

Before Kerr was hired, Golden State had fired Mark Jackson-- some believed Jackson's termination was racially charged. However, Warriors beat writer Marcus Thompson II wrote this column explaining team owner, Joe Lacob, thinks Jackson probably needs to do a better job managing up and sideways in his next next head coaching job.

Thompson continues, claiming Jackson; wasn't dedicated to cultivating his relationship with Lacob, and that he perhaps should invest more into developing relationships that lead to a sustained career, or maybe a front-office gig.

After being introduced as the Warriors new head coach, Steve Kerr told the media,

The relationship between three people - owner, general manager and head coach - is absolutely critical in this business.

If all parties didn't see eye-to-eye when it came to decisions regarding the product, then perhaps replacing Jackson with Kerr (someone with front-office experience) made perfect sense. My guess is Kerr will have plenty of say regarding player-personnel decisions in Golden State, even though coaching should be his main focus.

The Pistons are, also, aiming to form a synergy between head coach, GM and President of BBall Ops, similar to what the Spurs have in San Antonio.

So, while they may appear to be mimicking the Spurs front-office structure, the Wolves aren't necessarily copy cats-- if they are, they aren't the only ones. It appears this is how multiple organizations have decided they want to conduct business.

Today is Media Day.

John and I will be in attendance, sending out tweets and posting content on this website when we can. You can watch the Timberwolves broadcast Media Day live online at timberwolves dot com. The following is information from a press release with instructions for how to participate from home.

Fans will have the opportunity to submit questions to the players as they appear live on timberwolves.com. Simply visit the website on Monday, Sept. 29 and submit your questions via Cover It Live, and watch the players as they answer your questions directly for the ultimate interactive experience.

Media Day begins at 11:30 AM and goes until 2:00 PM. After that, the Wolves will head to Mankato and prepare for Dunks After Dark. If you're heading down to, or already around, the MSU campus, the doors to the Taylor Center open at 11:00 PM.

A number of comments in a thread under a different post were made in response to Bazzy's request for questions. Obviously, feel free to post questions you may have in this thread. If there's an opportunity for John or I to ask one of them, we'll try and capitalize.

Music

Knowing some of you are sticklers when it comes to genres, I'm aware it's Metal Monday-- this may be a little more on the hardcore/punk end of the spectrum. This is one of my favorites from Stick to Your Guns.