Regardless of the year, July 7th is usually a fairly slow time for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In years past, July 7th for Wolves fans would typically represent some combination of streaming a Summer League game against the Denver Nuggets while simultaneously monitoring the Twitter timeline for possible #WojBombs about Minnesota *finally* using their cap space to sign a third-tier free agent. Those were the good ol’ days.
Fast forward to July 7, 2020, and life is a lot different — not only for Wolves fans, but for all fans of the NBA. Instead of pitching free agents or playing “next basket wins” in overtime of a Summer League game, most NBA teams are currently navigating the treacherous waters of preparing for life in a bubble while a worldwide pandemic roars on.
From a pessimistic view, the NBA’s current push to resume the 2019-2020 season is on even thinner ice than ever before. Six NBA franchise (Bucks, Kings, Nuggets, Heat, Clippers and Nets) have been forced to shut down their practice facilities due to players and/or staff testing positive for COVID-19, increasing the already growing doubt that Adam Silver and his league will be able to pull off something so unique yet so challenging.
As for the optimistic take on all of this — the somewhat “good news” is that the Toronto Raptors (who arrived in the Orlando bubble over a week ago) have not yet had anyone test positive for COVID-19 despite being in one of the nation’s biggest hot spots (Florida), so *maybe* the bubble-like atmosphere will work. I don’t know. I just miss watching basketball.
Back to the Wolves for a second... as mentioned before, July is traditionally a pretty slow/quiet time during any given (normal) year, but in 2020? Sheeeesh! Unless the NBA ends up giving the green light to a second bubble for the Delete Eight teams (which is a pretty bad idea given the current situation facing the nation), we may be inching closer and closer to having a round table discussion where we rank beverages served on the 300-level of the Target Center.
As for now, let’s scrape the bottom of the barrel to make sure we are caught up on any and everything pertaining to both the Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx.
Flying South for the Summer
Since the Lynx are the only professional basketball team in Minnesota who actually has something to play for this summer, let’s start with them. The team departed yesterday for Bradenton, Florida, and by all accounts the trip to the Sunshine State was a success.
The WNBA’s 22-game season is slated to start on July 24th at the IMG Academy, but as far as I can tell, the league has not yet released a schedule for all of the teams (if I’m missing something, please drop a link in the comments below). Whether or not any of these “return to play” scenarios actually hold up will be something to monitor as we move forward, but for now I want to wish the best of luck to our Lynx as they start training for the upcoming season!
Moore Than An Athlete
Speaking of the Minnesota Lynx... how about Maya (bleeping) Moore?!
WNBA star Maya Moore sat out the entire season last year and helped overturn the conviction of Jonathan Irons, who was serving a 50-year prison sentence.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2020
He was finally released today.
(via @MooreMaya) pic.twitter.com/fUWEEFP1nz
Jonathon Irons, the man who Maya Moore stepped away from basketball to focus on getting his conviction overturned, was finally released from prison back on July 1. FiveThirtyEight recently wrote a phenomenal piece on what exactly Maya Moore has been doing to further the social justice movement, and I highly suggest checking it out to get a broader idea of how much the young G.O.A.T has sacrificed to make a moment like this become a reality.
Shoutout Maya Moore. Forever.
Been There, Done K.A.T.
As mentioned in the intro, a typical NBA offseason would involve most of us streaming NBA Summer League games this week while pretending to get some work done at the office. With 2020 Summer League no longer on the horizon, let’s flash back to the summer of 2015, when one Karl-Anthony Towns made his long-anticipated introduction to the league:
If, like me, you are especially desperate these days for anything related to the Minnesota Timberwolves, you can find some good highlight packages of Summer League performances on YouTube. The videos below bring back memories to some of the earliest days of KAT being in Minnesota. Enjoy!
Hi, Karl... we miss you.