Twenty years of Timberwolves: Highs, lows, and grisly details

A retrospective of Minnesota's most heartbreaking franchise

As things stand, the beer is lukewarm, the hot dogs undercooked. Which isn't to say all is hopeless.

The "we're rebuilding" line is often a canned phrase that just means, "we suck," but in this case, there might be some truth in it. Jefferson has the potential to be a perennial All-Star once his passing catches up to the rest of his game (maybe even if it doesn't). Randy Foye has shown great potential as a pure scorer, maybe something akin to a poor man's Dwayne Wade (though his listed height of 6'4" was evidently measured while he was in platform shoes). He's barely old enough to drink beer, and already rookie Kevin Love has displayed ample aggression and a clairvoyant knack for rebounds and loose balls.

More reason for hope: The Wolves opened the year with a five-game winning streak, the longest in more than three years. After throttling the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 10, the players seemed almost... confident.

NBAE/Getty Images
A young Kevin Garnett
NBAE/Getty Images
A young Kevin Garnett

"The locker room atmosphere is definitely different than it was a month ago," says Love. "Guys are more upbeat and we're feeling good. We're no longer hanging our heads. We now know we can do this."

Leave it to a guy familiar with depth-perception challenges posed by the Metrodome to put things in perspective: "In 20 years, I think the Wolves have come full circle," says Tony Campbell. "I think these guys have a lot in common with us from back then. We had to tough it out for about five years before the franchise really got going. Like these guys, we were primarily young, with a few veterans sprinkled in there. I think the difference, though, is these younger guys have more talent than we had. Maybe the turnaround will be quicker this time."

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