This week at SB Nation, we’re looking back at moments that made us cry. Unfortunately, there’s not really any moments that spark tears of joy that I can think of, so I’m looking back at one of the sadder moments in recent memory, at least for me.
Did I really cry when Robert Covington was traded away? No, but he was one of my favorite Timberwolves since I’ve been old enough to watch, even in his short time here. More than anything, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to remember what an awesome player and teammate RoCo was during his time in the Twin Cities area.
Let’s start with how Covington got here, the Jimmy Butler trade. RoCo came over with Dario Saric in exchange for Butler. After a long, ugly battle with Butler, Covington was the biggest piece of that return. Expectations were pretty high, at least within his expected role.
Given those expectations, he absolutely out-performed those expectations while he was on the floor. Covington brought his typical phenomenal defense on the wing along with some pretty stellar three-point shooting when you consider how difficult of looks he was getting with less-than-stellar pacing around him. He legitimately made the Wolves a competent team defensively, which is something that not even Jimmy Butler accomplished.
Covington is the epitome of being a superstar in your role. Whenever a wing prospect is pegged as being a great 3-and-D role player in the NBA, RoCo is the exact player who they’re compared to.
More than that, he embraced Minneapolis and the area, which isn’t something that happens all that often around here. He was a good teammate who seemed to be a really positive presence for Karl-Anthony Towns.
It’s understandable why Minnesota traded Covington, as they’ve loaded up on players who all fit Karl-Anthony Towns’ theoretical timeline. I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that Covington didn’t fit that timeline, but nonetheless, the move made sense.
That doesn’t change the fact that we all do, and will continue to miss the play, energy, and selflessness of Robert Covington in Minnesota.