Tonight, We Shine

Tonight was the most spectacular sports performance I have witnessed in person. A perfect game. The first 30 and 30 in 28 years. Beasley adding 35 points as icing on the cake. A rally from a 20 point deficit in the 2nd half. Beating the NBA franchise I hate the most. Love stuffing Amare’ and his $100 million pansy-fail-ass to the floor down the stretch. I was proud. And genuinely happy. After having to postpone attending last week’s game due to conflict after the Wolves graciously offered TWB staffers a pair of tickets each, I settled on the non-televised Knicks game. The evening started with myself and the lady watching pre-game warmups from the bench.  And ended with me, to be perfectly melodramatic and excessive, speechless. Shortly before the buzzer ended I actually hugged a random man from New York. And I was sober. This is the kind of night it was at Target Center Friday. We may never see another night like it. And it is only game 10 of the year.

It’s strange, when you think about it, how much time and energy is invested into sports and basketball. Dumbed down, the barometer of our day/night/week is dependent on people twice our size tossing a rubber ball around an arena and throwing it through a metal ring. I mean, how barbaric and primitive! But on the car ride home tonight, I tried to explain to the lady as best as I could how much a night like tonight meant to me. I admit it, my emotions spilled out. After 6 years of scrutiny. Of heartbreak. Of blown games. Of dreadful coaching. Of draft picks lost. Of stars traded. Of former Wolves blowing up elsewhere. Of national media embarrassment. Of Kahn Kahmments. After 6 years (hell 22 years)….the Wolves came out on top on a scale previously unfathomable. Even if it was only one game.


Finally, something unbelievably positive happened. Tonight, we shined. Tonight was like going to 1,000 job interviews, getting harshly rejected every time, and finally getting an offer on day 1,001. One game? Absolutely. Who cares. Have we turned a corner? Debatable. Who cares, just enjoy it. Let’s stop worrying about which guy we can trade for late lotto draft picks to blow up the ship again. Stop bitching about Rambis, or Love’s defense, or Darko’s airballs. Stop loathing Beasley’s shot selection. Or whether Love and Beas can coexist. Or whatever cynical topic we can conjure up as winter approaches. Just for a few days. Just enjoy the outcome of this game, and be as cocky as possible about it. We earned it just as much. Not since KG and Marbury’s first season together have I felt this amount of energy surrounding two young stars.  Guys who can actually play. This is no Big Al and Mike Miller combo here. This could be the start of something truly special. And it is only game 10 of the year. A bit of a stretch? Sure. But again, who cares. Enjoy it. 

Think for a moment the amount of great players and teams that have come and gone in the last 28 years. The Bulls dynasty. The Lakers dynasty. The Spurs. Kevin Garnett himself, Lebron James, Larry Bird, McHale, Jordan, Duncan, Shaq, Kobe. Sure, those guys have had dominant games and unbelievable statistical performances, and I am not by any means comparing Love or the Wolves to any of them. But… championships aside, none of those teams or players, or fans were able to produce or experience what happened at Target Center tonight. Not after this many years of misery, or this much public mocking and incessant ridicule. The last time something like this happened was before I was even born….and it occurred on a normal frigid Friday in “NBA Siberia.”

A genuine congratulations to Kevin Love for his unbelievable performance, which is perhaps the greatest statistical output in Wolves history. Let’s not forget Beasley and the rest of the crew who held their own as well. And cripes, I’ll even thank Kahn (or McHale in Love’s case) for setting it up and allowing us who saw it to experience what just happened tonight.

To quote Morgan Freeman in Shawshank: “We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the lords of all creation. As for Andy – he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer….You could argue he’d done it to curry favor with the guards. Or, maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me, I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.”  So, enjoy it, however irrationally you do so, if only got a short while.

Oh, and because we deserve to say it: fuck you Bill Simmons. And a double and triple fuck you to all of his ESPN columnist minions. Good night.


About wallyworld

Mike has been writing for TWB as a hobby since the Kahn era, and currently resides in a Dallas suburb where he can often be heard loudly arguing with his neighbors about his strong dislike for JJ Barea. When not working, Mike enjoys playing the drums and pretending to like other sports.