A year ago it would have been blasphemous to even joke that someone other than Kevin Garnett was the greatest TWolve of all-time. Heck, a year ago, it would have even been possible to make a legitimate argument for Wally Sczerbiak as the second best TWolve of all time. Former Wolves players such as Sam Cassell, Tom Gugliotta, Stephon Marbury and Latrell Sprewell, might have had more accomplished careers than Sczerbiak, but Sczerbiak was a stable presence in the starting lineup for almost a decade. In any case, the battle was always going to for second because Kevin Garnett was number one by a mile.
However, a year later, it appears that with each fawning article the foundation is being laid for someone to make the case that Kevin Love is the greatest TWolve of all-time. Last year the praise was for Love’s rebounding prowess. This year Love has been garnering praise for his new svelte figure, improved scoring and the team’s first playoff push since the, you guessed it, Kevin Garnett era.
Love has the better individual stats over the first four years of their respective careers.
Until the arrival of Ricky Rubio, Love did not have a teammate comparable to either Marbury or Gugliotta.
What now remains to be seen is how Love manages the expectations of leading a playoff team next year when Rubio returns and the Wolves are a strong contender for a 6th-8th seed in the west. Garnett was a warrior, but he was never able to get the Wolves past the conference finals, a fact that arguably tarnished his legacy.
If Love manages to get the Wolves into the finals in the next six years he might find himself being anointed the greatest Timberwolve of all time just as Garnett is being inducted into the NBA hall of fame.
It’s good to see that LeBron and Wade have included John Wall into the fraternity of elite players, but you cannot help but wonder if they’re both being a bit too generous. Wall is talented, but he has a far more talented team than James had in his first year and he’s been surprisingly unable to marshal the best out of his teammates. Granted, there is a particular breed of dysfunction in Washington, but at some point the Wizards need to figure out how to hold Wall accountable. Otherwise, in two years he’ll be demanding a trade to _____ in order to get a better shot at “winning.” And as far as a wall trade that makes, sense, I would love to see what would happen if Wall and Tyreke Evans were to swap teams.
NBA players have done some stupid things on Twitter, but this weekend’s outpouring of support for fallen TWolves guard Ricky Rubio ranks as one of the more endearing acts on the social media site. Dwyer catalogs for those who missed it the slew of twitter posts by Rubio’s NBA brethren offering him prayers and a speedy recovery. If anyone wonders whether European players have been accepted into the fraternity then this has to make it clear that the answer is a resounding yes.
RealGM linked to this tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix declaring that the Thunder would not trade James Harden and Serge Ibaka for Dwight Howard. Management wise it’s the smart thing for OKC GM Sam Presti to make it clear that none of his core-players are on the trading block. But it did strike me as odd that no one really questioned this declaration. The silence might just be because this is a meaningless tweet from Mannix where what is presented as privileged information is not really information at all. Or it might really be because Howard’s been on the trading block for so long that the league really has no idea what he’s looking for. At least with Carmelo you had a sense of his intended destination and it made sense to leave Denver to play in New York. Whereas with Howard, especially given how well his team is performing this year, the reaction has mostly been, why doesn’t he just stay in Orlando? Back to the point of Mannix’s tweet, if the combination of Howard, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant is not enticing enough to make Harden and Ibaka available, then it might be time where we gave serious thought to how much Howard would bring to a contender.
For the next three years Simmons should rename this column, “In case you were wondering, LeBron is still #1.” No major disputes with Simmons’ ranking. Although, I might’ve given a nod to Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady for old time sakes, but other than that, he’s pretty much on point.