Minnesota Timberwolves Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Minnesota Timberwolves came into the NBA as an expansion team in the 1989-90 NBA season and the franchise has had some of the best power forwards in the league, but franchise success has eluded them. In their 31 seasons in the NBA, they have been out of the first round of the playoffs once. They have only made the playoffs nine times. Let's just get to the Mount Rushmore.
This was the easiest pick for this Mount Rushmore. Kevin Garnett is easily the best player in the history of this franchise. KG joined the Timberwolves straight out of high school as the fifth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. He would go on to become the most decorated and successful player in the team's history. Kevin Garnett made the All-Star game ten times, the All-NBA team eight times (including first team three times), the All-Defensive team eight times, and won the league's MVP Award in 2004. He was responsible for the team's most successful seasons and during his tenure, the franchise made the playoffs eight consecutive times. The Big Ticket is an icon in Minnesota sports and remains beloved by the true fans of this franchise. He goes down as the franchise's all-time leader in games, minutes, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. When you think of the Minnesota Timberwolves, you think Kevin Garnett.
Love makes the cut for the franchise Mount Rushmore due to his individual accolades during his time with the Timberwolves. He joined the team through the 2008 NBA Draft at a time when they were going into their second year without Kevin Garnett. Love gave fans excitement because of his amazing rebounding numbers and his awesome offensive repertoire. During Love's peak in Minnesota, there were quite a few people that called him the best power forward in the NBA. Love led the league in rebounding during the 2010-11 season with 15 rebounds per game. That season Love took home the NBA Most Improved Player Award. Love was an All-Star three times and made two All-NBA second teams in his six years with the franchise. Although Love was never able to get the Timberwolves to the playoffs, he did a great deal for their franchise.
I believe that Towns belongs on this list because of his impressive contributions to the franchise in a short amount of time. Towns has played in Minnesota for five seasons, and during that time he has amazed fans with his seemingly endless offensive potential. Towns is the perfect stretch five in the NBA of today. His rookie year was incredible. As a 20 year old rookie, Towns cruised to the franchise's second Rookie of the Year Award while putting up 18 and 10 every night. He upped those numbers in his next season to 25 and 12 and is one of the best offensive players in the league. Towns' early success has helped him make two All-Star teams and the sky seems to be the limit for him. While Towns has not been a part of huge stretch of success for the franchise, he was a key member of the 2017-18 team that made the playoffs for the first time since 2004-05 and if the team can put the proper pieces around him, he could be the catalyst for another successful period for the team.
Although Sam Mitchell is not going to stick out by looking at his numbers from his time in Minnesota, I believe he belongs on this list because of his contribution to the franchise. Mitchell was a member of the first team in franchise history and played for the team for 10 seasons total. He even coached the team during the 2015-16 NBA season. It also must be said that Mitchell has been credited as a huge influence on the franchise's best player, Kevin Garnett. That type of contribution to the team means more than points or other statistics. For the sake of argument, Mitchell does go down as second all-time for the franchise in games and minutes. He is also fifth in rebounds, fourth in steals, and fourth in points in the history of the team.