COMMENTARY | It has been 10 years since the Minnesota Timberwolves have been to the playoffs.
Yet, in the minds of their fans, it might seem longer since Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassel and Latrell Sprewell were making the franchise's only deep postseason run in their history.
The Wolves have been down some dark roads since then, but none has been darker than the day that then-vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale gave Flip Saunders his pink slip less than a year after making the Western Conference finals.
Sure, there was more damage done after letting Saunders go via terrible roster management, but the team hasn't had an actual basketball coach since then and the results have shown.
Since the 2003-04 season, the Timberwolves have compiled a record of 244-478 while employing six different head coaches. Looking at the names, there have been several types of people that have held the role in that time frame.
There was the "What Could Have Been Guy" in Dwayne Casey, who had the team at a .500 record before being canned in favor of Randy Wittman during the 2006-07 season.
Then, the "Completely Clueless Guy" in Wittman (who went 38-105 as Casey's replacement) and his successor Kurt Rambis, who thought that keeping Kevin Love buried on his bench was good for business.
And then there were the "Basketball Guys." McHale was sprung into action twice by owner Glen Taylor and had little success with the Timberwolves in those stints. In a twist of irony, McHale would find success after becoming head coach of the Houston Rockets, replacing the man who would be his successor in Minnesota.
That successor to McHale's post was Rick Adelman.
We're not quite sure what Adelman's role in franchise history will be in two seasons with the team, but with him returning for another year, he has a chance to be in the same league as his new boss.
Oh, that's kind of ironic, too, because that man would just happen to be Saunders who is the current vice president of basketball operations.
With the Flip and Adelman show running things in Minnesota, the Timberwolves finally have the perfect storm of a solid roster and a knowledgeable coach that they had when they were making playoff appearances on a yearly basis.
Even without the solid roster, Adelman still did a tremendous job two seasons ago when he led the Timberwolves to a 20-20 mark before Ricky Rubio tore his ACL. A slew of injuries derailed his second season, so now it's time to see what he can do when the pieces are in place.
The additions of Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer give him athletic options that can run the floor and knock down an open shot, while still having the nimble guys he covets in the post like he had in Sacramento with Love playing the Chris Webber role and Nikola Pekovic playing the Vlade Divac role.
This had to be music to Adelman's ears as he looks forward to bringing the Timberwolves back to the postseason. His system seems to be the right one for this team, and that could mean we talk about this team in the same breath as the one from a decade ago.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Timberwolves follower who has seen a plenty of losing efforts during his lifetime. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report and Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
- Sports & Recreation
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Kevin Garnett
- Flip Saunders
- Rick Adelman