The Timberwolves won their 41st game on Tuesday, making an uncomfortable amount of history in the process.
It’s the first time the Timberwolves managed to clinch a non-losing record since April 13, 2005 — the season after the team’s lone run to the Western Conference Finals.
That game was a win over the Golden State Warriors. Flip Saunders had been fired and Kevin McHale had taken over. Kevin Garnett had a triple-double and Troy Murphy led the Warriors in scoring.
That period of time wasn’t kind to the Timberwolves. It was clear that the Cassell-Sprewell-Garnett trio was on its last legs, as the Wolves ultimately failed in their last-ditch effort to secure a playoff spot. They went on to win 45 games and miss the playoffs.
While Garnett was in his prime, Cassell and Sprewell were well into their 30s. The end of that group was well in sight.
Thirteen years later, the Wolves team has two key cogs under 24 years old and a superstar — Jimmy Butler — in the prime of his career. The circumstances are different, but this year’s run to the playoffs at least comes with the caveat that more is likely on the way in the coming years.
Youth is on their side.
Speaking of youth, I was 14 years old the last time the Wolves clinched a non-losing record. What was happening in the world the last time the Wolves notched their 41st win?
NBA MVP – Steve Nash
This was the first of two straight MVPs for Nash. More importantly, it was the origin of the run-and-gun offense that has since evolved into the pace-and-space often run in today’s NBA.
That offense — and Nash’s general elite offensive skills, of course — turned Nash into the most dangerous offensive player in the league. He was too good of a shooter to sag off of, and too elite as a passer to play tight defense on.
NBA Rookie of the Year – Emeka Okafor
It’s incredibly hard to find highlights of Okafor in his rookie year with the Charlotte Bobcats, but he was excellent out of the gate. He averaged 15.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks and helped make the 18-win Bobcats as interesting as he could.
He’s been a fun story this year, too, in finding his way back into the NBA for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
No. 1 Song on the Billboard Charts – “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent
The Wolves weren’t the only ones about to freefall out of the limelight.
After an earth-shattering debut in “Get Rich or Die Tryin,'” 50 Cent opened 2005 with this little gem as part of his sophomore effort “The Massacre.” The album had a couple gems, but this was not one of them.
No. 1 Movie in the Box Office – Sahara
Alright alright alright! (Sorry)
I never saw this movie, but from what I understand, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Most Popular Shows on Television- American Idol, CSI, Desperate Housewives
The Wire was on television at this point, but didn’t even make the top 30 in ratings.
Most Popular Cell Phone- Nokia 1110
The iPhone was still two years away.
Listen to Tim on Wolves Wired!