Good morning, friends.
After five full regular seasons, back-to-back Play-In Tournament championships, 11 playoff games, and 449 blog posts, the day that every young aspiring blogger fears most has finally arrived.
It’s time for me to hang it up and say goodbye to Canis Hoopus. I nearly tendered my (fake) resignation in the winter of 2020, until a young guard from Atlanta burst onto the scene, reinvigorating my love not only for the the Minnesota Timberwolves, but also for analyzing who the team was and where they could go.
Now I just have to step away to keep my normal job and life in order, but it’s been a hell of a ride. There’s for sure some main character-syndrome going on this morning from me, but this place has meant a lot to me over the years so I wanted to devote a little space to voice my appreciation here. Plus, if I admit I’m being dramatic, it doesn’t really count, or something like that.
First things first, I want to thank Eric and John for bringing me on-board just before the 2018-19 regular season. I still vividly remember sending them an email to apply for an opening from a University of Minnesota cafeteria area as I enjoyed my Panda Express, thinking that there’s no way I’d hear back, but that it was worth an email anyways.
They graciously brought me in, and thankfully didn’t kick me to the curb after the first blog I wrote 1) suggested trading Jimmy Butler for Otto Porter Jr. or Kelly Oubre Jr., 2) named Josh Richardson as the prized target of the Jimmy sweepstakes, and 3) laughed off the idea of an Eric Gordon plus four first-round picks package from the Houston Rockets. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten any smarter, but the way we think about trade packages in the NBA sure has changed!
I spent most of my first couple of years here grinding through previews and recaps, picking up many sad late-night west coast recaps of games that were either uncompetitive or just plain hard to watch. Those road trips were perfectly set so that the Wolves could get smoked by the Warriors and Clippers while playing four quarters of the worst basketball you’ve seen with the Kings, Lakers, and Suns.
I should have hated that, but at that point I was just a college student/recent college grad who was up late watching basketball anyways. Why not come complain as a community about the basketball we had to watch? Plus, I always viewed previews and recaps as an opportunity to write about the other teams in the league, instead of just focusing on the sad state of the Wolves. It also helped me get comfortable and find my own voice before this team actually got good.
Those recaps were made a bit more tolerable with whatever crappy beer was on sale at Dinkytown Liquor that week, but still. I was able to tolerate writing about Jerryd Bayless and Noah Vonleh, so you can imagine how much fun I’ve had writing about Anthony Edwards as a teammate and Jaden McDaniels’ limitless potential.
This is also as good a time as any to thank this community for the real-life friends it has brought me. I’ve shared beers with John at Target Field and met with Jack, Kyle, and Jakes Graphs for a combination of brunch and therapy after the massive blown lead in Game 3 last year.
Over the last few years (as I’ve become more of a regular around here), Kyle and Jack have always treated me as a partner rather than an employee, which I’ve always been grateful for. Not coincidentally, they are two of my closest friends whom I chat with every day, even if I routinely have to explain young person jokes to Kyle, and Jack’s love for the Warriors makes me physically ill.
It would be obnoxious to go on and name everyone individually, and I don’t want to forget anyone, but this genuinely has been a place that has impacted my life for the better. This is a special community, and one that fully deserves whatever heights Anthony Edwards can bring to them.
I also cannot pretend like I won’t miss some of the perks, namely the occasional opportunity to sit up close and personal at home games. I’m a shooting nerd at heart, so I will miss the chance to get to Target Center hours before tip-off and just sit and watch the best basketball players in the world go about their business. The way pros shoot in an empty gym was always mesmerizing for me. The footwork, the touch, and the ease with which they shoot never got old.
This was a pretty cool moment to have a front-row seat for, too.
I think the Wolves are having fun pic.twitter.com/fbbnYCcBY1— mike o’hagan (@mikleohagan) March 8, 2022
Anyways, I’m rambling now, but I just wanted to say thank you one last time to this community as a whole. I may no longer have the requisite time to devote the extra hours to this, but I’m going to miss this place a lot. Maybe I’ll stick around and jump in the mud with the commenters. I’ve recently come to learn that a few of my friends have found this to be addicting, so maybe it’s time for me to hop in with them.
Please, continue to support Jack and the crew, as they do outstanding work. This is a smart fanbase that feeds off of each other, and this is a great place to capture to that.
A couple parting thoughts:
- Give Jaden McDaniels all of the money
- The City edition jerseys are good
- I am rooting for Vando and Beas to take home rings
- Naz Reid.
Go Wolves, I’ll see all of you at Target Center next year.