Let’s put a new twist on the Mount Rushmore of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of players that have torn down the Wolves franchise? This exercise is simple and limited to players only (a certain executive-turned-coach would be too prevalent on everyone’s lists).
The Wolves have had a lot of good years thanks to Kevin Garnett. But after seeing Garnett win an NBA title in his first year with Boston, it makes you wonder why – besides not having a teammate like Paul Pierce – was he not able to win one in Minnesota.
Here’s my anti-Rushmore:
- Joe Smith: Smith was a pretty serviceable player in parts of four seasons with the Wolves, but without question the Wolves inability to win a title with Garnett can be traced back to the scandal involving the contract he signed. The NBA found out after the 1999-2000 season that Smith had made an "under-the-table" agreement with executive Kevin McHale regarding a future contract, so the NBA punished the Wolves by voiding Smith’s contract and stripping the franchise of five future first-round draft picks.
- Marko Jaric: The Timberwolves acquired Jaric in the summer of 2005 in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers got Sam Cassell and a first-round pick. Jaric then signed a six-year, $40 million deal with the Wolves. Well, let’s just say Jaric didn’t really become what the Wolves hoped.
- Latrell Sprewell: "I have a family to feed." Enough said. His departure also coincided with - though is not directly responsible for - the Wolves slipping from a conference finals contender to mediocrity. But that line "I have a family to feed" live in infamy.
- Ndudi Ebi: The Wolves had very few first-round picks during the KG era, but Ebi is the first-round bust that everyone seems to remember.
I’m sure I left out at least one ridiculously bad contract. Who ya got?