If you were traveling around social media yesterday, you may have seen a video of Andrew Wiggins almost doing something totally unreal with a basketball. In case you didn't, here it is:
That was the near completion of a 720 degree dunk. Which is absolutely bonkers to comprehend. Sometimes we may forget that not only do the Timberwolves employ the two time defending NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion in Zach LaVine, but a ferocious dunker in Wiggins as well, and with the addition of Kris Dunn, who looked like he wanted to dunk on anyone and anything in Las Vegas, an idea comes to mind.
Two years ago, the Wolves opened LaVine and Wiggins' rookie year with the Dunks After Dark event in Mankato, showcasing the new rookie talent in a scrimmage and dunk contest. The event was covered on NBA TV and seemed to be a huge success. It did not return in 2015, but 2016 may be the time to return the event and call it a bit of a tradition.
Between Wiggins, LaVine and Dunn (let alone Karl-Anthony Towns, who has some ups as well), the Wolves are full of young talent. This is abundantly clear and has been the subject of much discussion (as it will continue to be for the foreseeable future). Events like the Dunks After Dark-style event could be great for promoting the team both in the Twin Cities and around Minnesota (since the event took place in Mankato).
Where it seems less likely is looking at the new regime in place. The event doesn't feel like something Tom Thibodeau would go out of his way to put on, and that may make all the difference and make this entire idea a pipe dream. However, the internet goes wild every time crazy dunks like this come through. Wouldn't it be a good idea to channel that as a part of the team?
Dunks are fun. They are not the most important skill in basketball, nor is the practice of fun and ridiculous dunks likely to lead to an increase in a team's wins the next season. However, fun is important, and I like fun. I think the Wolves should bring Dunks After Dark back for a second season and make it a yearly event to kick the year off in style.