By Craig Kwasniewski
I know, I know... sky is blue and water is wet...
But Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who has a long list of ill-advised moves, is at it again. This time he throws former franchise icon Kevin Garnett under the bus by accusing him of tanking last season. According to yahoo.com:
Taylor took exception to a local newspaper columnist who suggested it was time for the Wolves, who are 16-50, to start losing to improve their chances in the draft lottery.
Garnett missed the last five games of last season with a leg injury and watched his team lose its final seven games, improving its draft status along the way, before being traded to Boston in July.
Taylor said the columnist “said a little bit last year that we sort of like tanked it. I don’t think that. I don’t like that so much. I don’t like that.
“It was more like KG tanked it. I think the other guys still wanted to play. But it sure changed the team and didn’t make us (as good).”
First off, we're talking about the one of the fiercest competitors in the history of the NBA. Unlike players like Shaq or Vince Carter, KG just doesn't know how to take games off. We're talking a player who's level of intensity could possibly have harmed previous playoff runs because of fatigue at the end of the season (the guy was spent toward the end of the 2004 Western Conference Finalist run). So the notion of KG tanking it on his own is preposterous.
Secondly, (and this is more assumption) odds are the T-Wolves front office probably told KG to "rest up and heal his injuries" at the end of last season in order to improve their chances in the lottery. Literally half of the NBA was in full-blown tank mode! It was no secret that star players on bad teams were coincidentally "going under the knife" toward the end of last season.
Glen Taylor should just shut the hell up and not draw attention to Tankapalooza 2007 (BTW - that along with the ref scandal were two huge reasons why the 2006-07 season was one of the worst in NBA history). Anyway, this is the same guy who was caught trying to broker an under-the-table deal for Joe Smith ultimately costing the T-Wolves several first round draft picks as penalty. And this is the same guy who kept Kevin McHale as GM, killing the franchise along the way.
So I'm not surprised at Taylor's actions...