For nearly a year, TWB readers have been intermittently teased with a silouette of a mystery man. In a few moments, the face of that man will be revealed.
Why today? Why now?
The answer is simple.
Today is the day that the Minnesota Timberwolves either turn towards the light, or descend into a year of unimaginable darkness. If there was ever a day that we needed this man, it is now.
Tonight, the Minnesota Timberwolves will enter the NBA draft lottery for the 14th time in their history. As we have well-documented on this site, in their previous fittingly "unlucky thirteen" trips, the Timberwolves have NEVER improved their positioning and often find themselves pushed back. It has been an annual punch to the collective gut of the T-Wolves Nation as we've watched again and again as unjust scenarios unfolded, such as Derrick Rose landing with the Bulls, while the Wolves were continually left out in the cold. Each time, we've taken our lumps and licked our wounds, only to have hope swell the next year that this is finally "our time".
It never is.
I've personally tried every superstition short of swallowing snake venom and lighting my eyebrows on fire in the hopes of breaking the Timberwolves lottery curse. Last year, the TWB staff even went so far as to arrange a 64-seed "mascot challenge" tournament, then faxed a photo of the winner, MacGyver, into NBA Headquarters in Secaucus, NJ so that our mascot would be "in the building" to help end the Wolves unlucky streak. The result? The second-to-last place Wolves, got bumped back two spots to the #4, while the Wizards, who had 73% more wins than Minnesota, were awarded the 1st overall pick and the rights to John Wall.
This year, I am not trying to "reverse the curse" and alter the Wolves' destiny. I'm not asking for some magical twist of fate to right all of this team's wrongs and send the Wolves to the promised land. All I want is one thing.
The Wolves won 17 games this season and finished dead last. They deserve the #1 pick in the draft. In the NFL, they would be picking first. Same goes for the MLB. In the NHL, there is a lottery, but no team can jump up further than four spots, so using that scenario it would take a near-miracle for Minnesota to fall all the way to #4, which is the exact spot they are most likely to end up in tonight. Only the NBA has this ridiculous system and it's exactly why the Chicago Bulls are playing in the Conference Finals tonight, and the Wolves are making their seventh straight trip to the lottery.
I don't care what anyone else says, the Wolves deserve the #1 pick tonight. Anything less is a complete sham, and the fact that there is a 75% that the Wolves will get pushed back tonight is an atrocity. With the remaining 25% chance, there is nothing to be won, only their own ground to be held. Tonight isn't about winning. It isn't about the player we'd pick #1 either, as I'm not really sure how drastically Kyrie Irving will change the Wolves' lot in life going forward. Tonight is simply about finally not getting screwed. It's about finally being able to raise our chin with an ounce of dignity knowing that something went right for this franchise instead of more bad luck and disappointment. It's about having a glimmer of hope that the Wolves can mount a semi-respectable 2012 campaign and have the Clippers pick 6th our 7th with our 1st rounder instead of 1st overall.
I'm seriously spent with this team. After enduring the past seven years, I just can't fathom what it will be like next season to be pickless without a light at the end of the tunnel. Things have never been more desperate for this franchise and even MacGyver with all the duct tape and rubber bands in the world couldn't right this ship. So in one last-ditch gasp of hope, we're unleashing the final good luck charm in our arsenal...