The Minnesota TimberTrolls: From Spain with love, and GIF images [VIDEO]

The TimberTrolls logo.
The TimberTrolls logo.

It turns out Ricky Rubio's Minnesota arrival reinvigorated the Timberwolves in more ways than one.

We expected Ricky to draw some Spanish fans to the team -- but nobody saw the Minnesota TimberTrolls coming.

The TimberTrolls are a group of Spaniards who watched a T-Wolves game or two because of Ricky, but ended up taking a shine to the rest of the team. Now some of the T-Wolves' most active and devoted internet fans, they're largely responsible for the hilarious and popular animated GIF images that have given the 2012 squad a folklore appeal.

In a Wolves Nation post, a TimberTroll named Quinteros described how he and his fellow Spaniard-trolls fell in love with the team:

"Ricky Business" is what caused the Trolls to start watching T-Wolves basketball in the first place.
"Ricky Business" is what caused the Trolls to start watching T-Wolves basketball in the first place.
The story began in the Spanish Basketball forum FORO ACB, where a group of Spanish fans started to follow the adventures of Ricky Rubio in the NBA. At first, they only observed Rubio's skills, but little by little, they began to comment on the rest of the team.

One game (convinced us). It was when the Timberwolves played at the Clippers. We knew this game was shown on national TV and that it was really important for the team, however the game started at a terrible time in Spain (4:30 a.m). Nevertheless, many people stayed online to watch the game, and the way the team played was a huge shock for these fans.

From those humble beginnings, in just a month's time the Trolls have spread their Spanish brand of T-Wolves love all across the net. The Trolls' GIFs and hilariously photoshopped images are used widely on Timberwolves blogs. Their English- and Spanish-language Facebook page is quickly approaching 600 likes, Trolls members are active posters on T-Wolves message boards, and the group's official fan page is no doubt the Spanish-language capital for T-Wolves fandom.

Regarding the GIFs and photoshopped pictures, a Trolls member who goes by "Simpkins" told Wolves Nation that the group's passion for creating funny images began as nothing more than a way to kill time until the Timberwolves games begin early in the morning in Spain.

"If you want to see Ricky Rubio in Spain you must wait until late night," Simpkins said. "Spanish fans need something to have fun while they are waiting."

Anthony "Trolliver" is, for some reason, a Christ-like figure in the eyes of the Trolls.
Anthony "Trolliver" is, for some reason, a Christ-like figure in the eyes of the Trolls.

The TimberTrolls love "Ricky Business" -- that's no surprise. More surprising is the their passion for Anthony Tolliver, known affectionately to Trolls as Anthony "Trolliver." The role-playing power forward doesn't produce like Kevin Love or fill highlight reels like Ricky, but there's apparently something about his heady, solid, old-school game that the Trolls loved on first sight. Trolliver appears in just about all of the images and GIFs produced by the Trolls. The group has gone as far as to design Trolliver his very own t-shirt -- an honor so far not even bestowed on Ricky Business.

But, if you asked them, the Trolls would probably say that like good parents, they love all the Timberwolves equally. Indeed, even end-of-the-bench players like Anthony Randolph (known to the Trolls as "Sad Dog" Randolph) are featured in the Trolls' imagery.

Minnesota fans have begun to crush on the Spaniards something serious. In fact, on KFAN's Timberwolves message board, a movement has begun to raise funds so some of the TimberTrolls can travel to Minneapolis for a game later this season (a popular suggestion is to use some of owner Glen Taylor's dough). That sounds like a lot of fun for the Spaniards, but really, wouldn't the fans here in Minnesota prefer that the Trolls stay home and continue to churn out the laugh-out-loud images we've quickly come to love?

Here's a video the TimberTrolls produced introducing the range of characters that are the 2012 Minnesota Timberwolves. Check back tomorrow for a Top Ten of the most hilarious TimberTrolls images to date.

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