What Happened?

Everybody thought the Wolves would contend for an NBA crown this year, and some picked them to win it. Not anymore: how egos and contracts turned one of the league's highest-paid teams into middle-of-the-pack underachievers.

How likely is this ugly scenario? Nobody knows. What does seem clear is that the next few weeks will be a crucial time for both the near- and long-term course of this franchise. The happy resolution everyone connected with the team is hoping for is the return to glory of the MV3, fueling a gritty, off-the-mat comeback that earns them, at minimum, a return to the conference finals. Personally, I think that watching that happen would be worth the braying about "Nobody respected us," and "If you want to jump off the bandwagon, don't come trying to get back on" that would inevitably ensue from some of the players. Among the legion of Wolves fans, whose heart wasn't seduced by the unselfish synergy of talent and tenacity that made last season so potently magical? We can all hope that it happens again. But expecting it feels like a prelude to heartache, a delusion rebutted by three months of woeful underachievement.


A portion of this story orginally appeared in an online-only column from January 3, titled "MV3 Minus 2 Equals 1 Long Season." Britt Robson's Hang Time columns about the Timberwolves appear every Monday throughout the NBA season at citypages.com.

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