3.21.2008

KG, Taylor, & Tanking: A Post-Mortem

The word on the local Minneapolis radio stations is that Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor did in fact have a discussion with Kevin Garnett about playing time before the last five games of the 2006-2007 NBA Season. If you believe the reports, the discussion went something like this:

Taylor: Kevin, I wanted to talk with you about the next five games. We'd like to see our younger guys play more and that will mean you playing less.

KG: I'm listening.

Taylor: This could mean you playing as little as five to ten minutes per game and no more than 18-20 minutes per game.

KG: I'm not interested in doing that.

Taylor: Well, you do what you need to do.

KG: Got it.

And with that, KG left the Twin Cities for the remainder of the season.

Reading between the lines, it is clear what was going on in the Land of the Timberpuppies.

For the second time in as many seasons, Minnesota's NBA life had been reduced to playing for ping-pong balls. As Celtics fans well know, playing for ping-pong balls means losing games to increase your chances at getting the top pick in the draft. As Celtics fans also know, the Timberwolves weren't the only team vying (losing) for ping-pong balls, which meant even a single win could represent a major setback against the other teams also vying (losing) for the top pick.

This background, of course, puts Taylor's "tanking" accusations in their proper light.

The Wolves were going to do everything in their power to drop the last five games, and Garnett was either with them or against them.

KG wanted no part of the farce. Garnett doesn’t pretend to compete.

So instead of manning-up to what really transpired, ie., team executives and management conspiring to lose games in hopes of getting the top pick, Taylor now blames Garnett for faking an injury to miss five games he allegedly didn't want to play.

"Gutless Weasel" is a phrase that doesn’t even begin to do Taylor justice.

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