Houston (USA), May 18 (EFE) .- After a new losing season, the Minnesota Timberwolves already have to their credit the not very pleasant distinction of having become the worst team in NBA history, after overcoming in his career to franchises such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets.
While controversial owner Donald Sterling’s Clippers left behind their legacy of a losing team since being bought by billionaire Steve Ballmer, the Kings came to take their place as the worst in NBA history, shared with the Hornets, until this season, the Timberwolves broke all negative marks.
Some might look at the Timberwolves’ record and say they had a similar run to the Kings in the early 2000s and even reached a Western Conference final in 2004, and newer power forward Kevin Garnett. Hall of Fame, he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
But the hiatus from the 2004 season, when they went 58-24, has not been enough to overcome the accumulation of errors with the selection in the college draft and changes of players during the 30 years of their existence in the NBA.
The Timberwolves had two other 50-win or more seasons (2001-2002 and 2002-2003), but managed to win only two playoff series, both in 2004, and outside of the eight postseason appearances during the Garnett era of 1997. -2004, they have done it one more time, in 2018.
While they have managed to finish above 50 percent only eight times in their history.
Their losing mark of 1003-1545 has the worst percentage among the 30 NBA teams at 39.4%, while the number of victories leaves them at 27th place, beating the Pelicans (704), Memphis Grizzlies (864) and Toronto Raptors (982), but they all have better overall percentage and winning average.
The Timberwolves are also 18-34 all-time in the playoffs (34.6%), minus 2004 where they were 8-8, they are only 10-26 for a 27.7 winning percentage, which is equally the worst in NBA history.
One of the most famous events that has happened to the franchise, and probably the catalyst for it to be the worst in NBA history, was the illegal signing of the exala-pivot Joe Smith that they made with secret agreements between both parties, which they violated league rules and when the NBA found out, they annulled the contract.
The Timberwolves were also suspended and were left without first-round selection rights to go into free fall since then, which they accentuated with signings and transfers without any sense like Garnett to the Boston Celtics and center Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz, without receiving hardly compensation.
Worse was selecting Ray Allen with number five in the 1996 college draft and selling his rights to the Milwaukee Bucks to host point guard Stephon Marbury, who barely lasted two seasons with them.
The Timberwolves used their rights to number five in the 2009 college draw to land Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, compared to the legendary Pete Maravich, but the El Masnou player has had a good NBA career, but has never been an All- Star and is, at best, the worst starter on an average playoff team.
After Rubio’s arrival, the Timberwolves have let players like DeMarcus Cousins, Gordan Hayward, Paul George, Eric Bledsoe and Avery Bradley escape in subsequent draws.
But more devastating was seeing them let in guard Klay Thompson, forward Kawai Leonard, Greek power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and French center Rudy Gobert, all of them All-Stars.
As has happened with guard Zach LaVine and forward Jimmy Butler, who participated in selection exchanges and transfers made by the Timberwolves without receiving anything special.
It is still too early to know if the last selections are going to turn out well, the Dominican American center Karl Anthony Towns seems to be the best player for Minnesota since Garnett.
If the incompetence in the university draw has been complete on the part of the Timberwolves executives, when it comes to developing talent they have not been very successful either and only Garnett, the American Spanish forward Wally Szczerbiak, power forward Kevin Love and Towns arrived to the All-Star Party.
It is true that losing is as important a part of basketball as winning, but some teams do the former much more frequently than the latter, as is the case of the Timberwolves, which due to their own mistakes, in 2021, have become the new “losing kings” in NBA history.
(c) EFE Agency