The Six Degrees of the 2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves

"At the start of the fourth quarter, Fabricio Oberto(notes) was called for fouling former Maryland product Joe Smith. Phil Saunders cursed, saying that the foul call was horse manure. He was immediately handed a technical foul. ‘If I got a tech every time I said that, I wouldn’t coach a game in this league,’ Saunders said. But Saunders provided more entertainment afterward. When Hawks guard Mo Evans missed the technical foul, Saunders channeled his inner Rasheed Wallace and shouted, ‘Ball don’t lie!’ The coaches on the bench chuckled.

Smith went up and missed the first free throw and Saunders shouted again, ‘Ball don’t lie!’ Smith missed the next free throw and Saunders shouted, ‘Ball really, really, really don’t lie!’ Sam Cassell nearly fell out of his chair." Ah, yes. When Sam Cassell laughs, we all laugh.

Kevin McHale, Flip Saunders, Sam Cassell, Joe Smith, Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett. It sure does seem that sooner or later almost everything in the NBA is somehow connected with that 2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves' team (though he was coached by Saunders earlier in his career). Now I know Joe Smith wasn't on that team. But I also know that Joe Smith's stint with the T-Wolves is a major reason why K.McHale was forced to gamble on Latrell Sprewell (ie., the Wolves lost three first rounders because of McHale's improper, under-the-table deal with Smith), and then take ever increasing gambles on riskier and riskier players thereafter, which then ultimately led to the Celtics landing KG.

Speaking of Joe Smith, didn't he play for the Pistons one year? Hmm. I wonder if he was coached by Saunders.


Lex said...

NBA forward Joe Smith, declared a free agent for signing an illegal secret contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this year, recently accepted a one-year, $2.25 million contract from the Detroit Pistons.

Minnesota signed Smith, who was the first overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA 1995 draft, to a free-agent contract in 1999 with a secret promise of $86 million over seven years after that, which is an NBA salary cap violation.

Lex said...

So, no, he wasn't coached by Saunders at Det

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