If you didn't notice, I've been participating in Jeff Fox's (of Hoops Manifesto) top ten players of all time lists, which is as it sounds, rankings of the top ten players for each and every NBA franchise. His voting results posts are quite wonderfully done, as you can see here with the rankings for your very own Minnesota Timberwolves. I know our players have been, let's say... "less than impressive", over the years; so if you want to read some history and achievements from some truly great franchises and players, check out the Lakers and Celtics, for starters. Those two should keep you busy for a while.
In the TWB Forums, I've been linking to the results and displaying my ballots for each organization, as Hoops Manifesto has been going along.
Anyways, DeROK, Bonk, and myself all participated in the rankings for the T-Wolves historically not-awesome organization. Below are our ballots and comments. Their's are after the jump. Here are mine:
*Editor's Note: The rankings are to determine whom had the best careers while as a member of a given team ONLY. In this case, what did the players do as members of the Minnesota Timberwolves? THIS LINK HERE should help shed light on my decision making process.
1) KG: I don't really need to even bother commenting on his stats and accomplishments with the T-Wolves. Every NBA fan should/does know that KG gave his heart and soul to this franchise; and Wolves fans haven't had anything like him ever before... and probably never will again.
For fun, he has almost 100 more win shares than the second most player. 138 to Wally Szczerbiak's 41. Oh, and 12,000 more career points than Sam Mitchell's second place.
2) Sam Mitchell: He gave 12 great years to this organization, mentoring young players like KG, and giving his all on a daily basis. He always was the consummate professional. He gave the best years of his career to some truly awful squads, and did the little things like rebound and play defense with aplomb and tenacity. And for good measure, he holds the second most all-time points and rebounds in franchise history.
3) Wally Szczerbiak: 2nd most win shares, 3rd most career points for the Wolves, and 1 all-star game appearance. Yes, these are the kinds of players KG had to work with during his tenure in 'Sota. For what it's worth, he's definitely the sexiest player this organization has ever had. Ladies couldn't get enough of Wally. His bloated salary was probably mostly paid for by the increased attendance of middle-aged women coming to see him play. Not that I'm saying it's a bad thing...
4) Doug West: Another long-time member of the squad, he put in 9 solid years. He didn't do anything overly splashy or spectacular (more of a testament to our terrible franchise than anything), although he does have the 4th most points scored in franchise history. He's possibly the best SG we have ever had. Yeah... moving on.
5) Terrell Brandon: 4th in win shares and 3rd in assists for this franchise. Somehow that is good enough to be 5th all-time on a ranking for a NBA organization. Yeah, again, our history...
To be fair, he had 3 great seasons with the T-Wolves before he got hurt and never returned. Plus his contract helped net us Sprewell and Cassell, for the one good season in 03-04 that this team ever had.
6) Tom Gugliotta: About 3 seasons of averaging about 20 ppg and 9 rpg. And really, that's all you need to do to make this list. At least we got him in return for wasted first round draft pick Donyell Marshall. Revisiting the horrors of this organization's history are mind-numbing.
7) Tony Campbell: Played 3 seasons. Scored lots of points (averaged 20.5 ppg for 3 years.) The end.
8) Sam Cassell: Solely because of his run as our PG during the '03-04 WCF season.
9) Joe Smith: Had a decent amount of rebounds and generally played pretty well. Oh, and his illegal contract cost us 4 first round draft picks. Still better than the next guy though!
10) Christian Laettner: For the Wolves he was 6th in all-time win shares, 3rd in rebounds, and 6th in points. Despite meriting a mention on this list for his stats, the sole reason I put this jackoff here at all is so that people can see how truly awful we've had it as fans of this organization.*
*Wolves had the worst record going into the 1992 draft. Thank you lottery gods, we pick third. We pick this assclown. Drafted #1 and #2? Shaq and Zo Mourning.
Laettner was traded in 1996 for Spud Webb and Andrew Lang. Egads.
R.I.P. Malik Sealy and Eddie Griffin
Do you agree with my rankings, or the list of the Top Ten T-Wolves on Hoops Manifesto? If not, feel free to post your rankings in the comments!
Please click "Read More" if you'd like to see how DeROK and Bonk voted for their rankings...
Here are Bonk's votes and comments:
1 - KG. I have never nor will ever love a professional athlete as much as I love/loved Kevin Garnett.
2 - Geez, we are on #2 and it's already this difficult? Wally Z. yuck.
3 - Sam Cassell - All NBA 2nd team, and had the best single season 03-04 of anyone not named Garnett in Wolves history. In some ways, he was the leader of that team.
4 - Stephon Marbury - He was the hope, the young superstar, the traitor. I cried when he got traded. I actually loved him more than KG at the time.
5 - Sam Mitchell - Had a huge influence on KG, was around for a long time, played the game the right way, and was a positive influence and bright spot on many otherwise horrid Wolves teams. Everyone in Minny loves him.
6 - Tom Guugs - Our first all-star. Our most reliable and solid player during our come up in the 90s.
7 - Joe Smith - He was important because his under-the-table deal screwed us BAD. He was also an underrated longtime contributor on Wolves teams, a solid compliment to KG, and a fantastic guy.
8 - Terrell Brandon - Solid numbers for a few years. Never spectacular, but he was the 2nd/3rd guy on most of our 50 win teams I believe.
9 - Latrell Sprewell - Brought us a much needed swagger. Is about the only wing we have ever had with the combo platter of athleticism, smarts, shooting, and defensive prowess.
10 - Trenton Hassell - My favorite Wolves "role player" of all time. As crazy as it might sound now, he really was a complete defensive stopper for a few years...I'm talking top 5 in the league.
Honorable Mention: Tony Campbell, Al Jefferson, Ricky Davis, Dean Garrett, Pooh Richardson, Rasho Neterovic, Christian Laettner, Isiah Rider, Marko Jaric (ok, not the last one).
And here are DeROK's votes:
#1 - Kevin Garnett
#2 - Sam Cassell
#3 - Tony Campbell
#4 - Tom Gugliotta
#5 - Al Jefferson
#6 - Latrell Sprewell
#7 - Stephon Marbury
#8 - Chauncey Billups
#9 - Terrell Brandon
#10 - Wally Szczerbiak