Editor’s Note: As we continue onto Day 2 of “Timberwolves Jersey Week,” our guy Derek James makes a strong argument that the jerseys discussed below are FAR worse than anything the Wolves have worn before, including the Minnesota Muskies.
Do you know how bad a team’s uniforms must be for them to change them after just two seasons? There are designers, sellers, marketers and more involved in overhauling a team’s look. Yet, this is what the Timberwolves did in after the 2009-2010 season.
In the team’s defense, changing jerseys after Kevin Garnett’s departure made perfect sense. Trading Garnett meant a new era for the franchise and a new look was the perfect complement to this new chapter. Well, a new look, not necessarily the jerseys the team unveiled in the summer of 2008:
There’s just so much going on with these uniforms, too much to be exact. It would be one thing if this were a fan concept or result of a contest winner, then the end result would be understandable; however, that’s not the case here. The Timberwolves and Adidas (like real professional designers) collaborated on these jerseys and actually meant to pick this design. I would hate to see the ideas deemed too gaudy or bad if these threads were the ultimate “winner.”
What exactly is going on with these? Well, here’s what the team said back in 2008:
- These jerseys were meant to “capture the energy, excitement and passion of Timberwolves basketball.”
- The green blobs on the sides of the shorts and jerseys were supposed to represent trees and the blue and black areas the night sky.
- The shape of a “W” can be seen on the sides of the jersey while you can make out an “M” on the side of the shorts.
- On the back, the shorts say “Minnesota” on the waistband while the wolf head logo appears on the back collar of the jersey.
- Twelve years have passed and no one has explained the funky collar, nor the added blue and gray around the arm holes.
While no one can accuse this kit of being dull or unimaginative, it felt like several concepts rolled into one garish package. For instance, the trees on the collars and waistbands worked with the previous jerseys because they suited the design and the creative direction of the league at the time. The late ‘90s were a time when practically every franchise had cartoon logos and bold designs, and the Timberwolves (nor Adidas) realized why those designs worked based on these results.
If we’re being honest, looking back at what we know now, these were the perfect jerseys for the 2009 and 2010 Timberwolves. The franchise won just 39 games combined in those two seasons, including a 15-win 2010 campaign. In other words, these were not the jerseys that era needed, but the jerseys that era deserved.
Remember, we’re talking about the David Kahn, Kurt Rambis, Oleksey Pecherov, Jonny Flynn and Randy Wittman days of futility. This was a time before Kevin Love was a Banana Republic model and still a pudgy 19-year-old with a buzz cut. You should see these jerseys and flashback to Al Jefferson looking off an open Sasha Pavlovic and Damien Wilkins to try scoring through a triple team because it was a legitimately better option.
When the team did revamp their jerseys after the 2010 season, they took the trees off the uniforms entirely. Choosing white, black, blue and silver were much safer choices. This allowed for a cleaner and simpler look on the arm holes and collars, though similar imagery remained on the jersey’s sides. Although a little boring an unimaginative, they were still preferable to the eyesores the team wore the past two seasons.
Ultimately, these jerseys represent rock bottom in the team’s design choices. Most of the other times, while not blowing anyone away, the franchise’s designs for their jerseys were classified as “meh” or acceptable (usually a tad boring but nothing that would be deemed hideous). Regardless, it’s safe to say that the uniforms shown above from 2009-2010 were objectively the worst set in franchise history.