It's officially summertime in the NBA. The trophy has been awarded, the interviews have been done, the conciliatory tweets have been written, and now we are confronted with a yawning basketball chasm until the fall.
Luckily, the summer calendar is chock-full of important dates for the local team. Here now, a look at a few of the more important events this summer:
June 20: In keeping with the spirit of Minnesota, team continues campaign to passive-aggressively keep Bobby Brown from exercising his player option for 2009-2010. When Brown calls the office, officials tell him, "That's totally fine if you want to pick up that option. You know, some people might actually go on the market on July 1, because they wouldn't want to force a team into anything, but really - we're okay with it. It's up to you. Makes no nevermind to us. You do whatever you like, and we'll just have to deal with it."
June 23: Diary entry found in book labeled "DAVID K.'S JOURNAL KEEP OUT!!!":
"Dear diary: We went out again tonight!! Kevin had the chicken again LOL. I had the fish. I think he could tell that I was trying to get his attention with the fish. I wonder if he noticed my pocket square? I was hoping that he would notice that it perfectly matched his eyes... and then maybe he'd smile..."
June 25: 2009 NBA Draft takes place.
June 26-indefinite: Timberwolves fans complain royally about draft picks, trades made or not made, and generally everything they can think of to bellyache about.
July 1: Free agency officially begins.
July 1, 12:01 am: Wolves officially cut all ties with unrestricted free agents Jason Collins and Shelden Williams, including deleting all records of either ever playing for the franchise.
July 8: Free agents may now be signed. Agents across the country tell David Kahn, "Uh, we'll give you a call back on that one. No, really. We promise. No, we're not trying to just get rid of you because playing in Minnesota is pleasant in exactly zero ways."
July 9: Kevin Love whistled for first of 17 Summer League fouls, even though the games haven't officially started, and Love's not even playing in the league.
July 10-19: NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. League goes on Super-Red-Alert-Standby for the inevitable and overdue gambling scandal.
July 15: [Insert Random Name Here] scores 25 points in summer league game, prompting obvious question: Just who in the hell is [Insert Random Name Here]?
August 1: Team realizes that Al Jefferson, at 6'10" and nearly 300 pounds, is going to have some real trouble returning from a major knee injury. Official seven-day mourning period at Target Center begins.
Early October: Training camp starts. Wolves are forced to hire a coach, since generally one is needed to run practices.
Mid-October: Kevin McHale says he's "still deciding" whether to coach the team. Glen Taylor says that the decision is "still up to the GM," although he says it while supervising the cleaning-out of the new coach's locker.
We've got a lot to look forward to this summer, then. (In a way, this may be our last chance to feel hopeful until summer 2010.)