Where Does 2022 All-Star Weekend Rank in Wolves History?

Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend, the Minnesota Timberwolves had a strong presence throughout NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland. The Wolves were represented by Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and Jaden McDaniels, with Towns leading the way by taking home the 3-Point Contest crown and playing in his third All-Star Game.

With that strong showing from the Wolves, it got us thinking of some of the top All-Star weekend moments in Minnesota’s history. Where do the 2022 performances rank among some of those fond memories? Let’s take a look at some of the best moments in Wolves history from All-Star weekend.

Honorable Mention 

Kevin Love‘s performance in the 2012 All-Star festivities was just out of the top five moments but worthy of honorable mention recognition. Love was in his fourth season with the Wolves when he represented Minnesota in the 3-Point Contest in Orlando.

After winning a tiebreaker to send him to the final round in the competition, Love once again won in a tiebreaker, defeating Kevin Durant to claim the 3-Point Contest and become the first Wolves player ever to do so.

Love was also selected to play in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season in 2011-12, finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds in 18.5 minutes off the bench for the Western Conference.

During a time when there wasn’t much going right for the Timberwolves, Love provided some light with his performance in All-Star weekend.

5. 2015

The 2014-15 season provided excitement and hope for many Wolves fans, with the rookie duo of Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine taking over as faces of the team. That year, Wiggins and LaVine were invited to All-Star weekend in New York City.

Wiggins and LaVine played in the Rising Stars game, with Wiggins on Team World and LaVine on Team USA. Wiggins and LaVine both led their teams with 22 points, but Wiggins and Team World went on to win the game, and he took home MVP honors.

Although Wiggins’ weekend ended there, LaVine’s continued in the Slam Dunk Contest. It was one of the first times we saw LaVine’s crazy hops on display. He went on to become the second Wolves player ever to win the contest and was the second-youngest competitor to win at 19 years old (Kobe Bryant, 18).

There was plenty of hype surrounding Wiggins and LaVine during their time in Minnesota, and their 2015 All-Star performances added fuel to that fire.

4. 2022

While riding one of the more successful seasons since ending a postseason drought in 2017-18, Minnesota rode high into the All-Star break this year.

Towns, Edwards, and McDaniels all represented the Wolves during the weekend, with Towns headlining that trio by earning his third selection to the All-Star Game and taking part in the 3-Point Contest. KAT put on a show in the 3-Point Contest to take home the shooting champion crown. Towns became the first center to claim the hardware and the first post player to win since Love did so as a member of the Wolves in 2012.

KAT followed that up by playing in 14 minutes in the All-Star Game with Team Durant, tallying nine points, six rebounds, and three assists off the bench.

Edwards and McDaniels were part of the newly-formatted Rising Stars Competition, with Edwards playing on Team Isiah and McDaniels playing on Team Payton.

In one game, Edwards played limited minutes but finished with four points and one assist. McDaniels put on a solid showing in one game, tallying a team-best 12 points and two rebounds. Edwards and Team Isiah fell to Team Barry in the championship, but Edwards didn’t appear in that game.

Overall, it was an excellent performance by a trio of Wolves players and worth remembering for multiple reasons. Not only did the players put on a show headlined by a fun weekend for Towns, but it almost felt like a celebration of the Timberwolves being relevant again in the NBA.

3. 1994

The 1994 All-Star weekend was memorable for many Wolves fans, with the weekend being held in Minneapolis for the first time ever. Along with welcoming some of the brightest stars in the NBA and celebrities that All-Star weekend always attracts, the Wolves had one of their own headline the Slam Dunk Contest at home.

Isaiah Rider was the first Wolves player ever to take part in the Slam Dunk Contest, and he put on a show on his home court. Rider defeated Allan Houston, Robert Pack, Shawn Kemp, James Robinson, and Antonio Davis to bring home the Slam Dunk Contest hardware for the first time in franchise history.

While trying to put on a good show as host of All-Star weekend, the Wolves were hoping to have one of their own shine on the big stage. Rider was that guy, making this performance one of the best in team history.

2. 2003

During the most successful stretch of seasons in Wolves history, the 2003 season was fun for many Minnesota fans. Kevin Garnett, Wally Szczerbiak, Troy Hudson, and Co. led the Wolves to their seventh straight playoff appearance. It was also fun at the midway point when Garnett took the court in Atlanta at the 2003 All-Star Game.

KG headlined the only All-Star Game in league history to go in double-overtime, resulting in the West topping the East 155-145. Garnett went off for 37 points, nine rebounds, five steals, three assists, and one block to earn MVP honors.

Not only was this moment in 2003 a special one for Wolves fans because it put both KG and the organization on a league-wide platform. But it was also one of the most memorable times in franchise history. This All-Star Game appearance by the best to ever wear a Wolves uniform added to all of that.

1. 2016 

All-Star weekend in 2016 was arguably the top moment in franchise history, with Wolves players taking part throughout the weekend’s festivities and putting on a show for the rest of the league.

To start the weekend off, Towns took part in the Skills Challenge. It was the first year featuring a format where the post players went up against guards. Town ended up beating Isaiah Thomas to win the contest.

Following that up, LaVine took the stage for both the Rising Stars Challenge and the Slam Dunk Contest. He finished with the Rising Stars Challenge with a team-high 30 points and seven rebounds, taking home the MVP award a year after Wiggins. In the Slam Dunk Contest, LaVine put on one of the best performances in league history against Aaron Gordon.

The 2016 All-Star weekend is one of the best years in Wolves’ history for a few reasons. First, it was at a time in the franchise where the young core of Towns, LaVine, and Wiggins was in the early stages of their careers and had fans hoping they were the next dominant Big Three in the NBA. While holding onto those aspirations and hope, Towns and LaVine flexed their star-power potential while putting together an impressive showing in front of the league’s stars.

There have been a few different moments in Wolves history to reflect on and look highly upon as top performances on All-Star weekend. The 2022 showing was worthy of an addition to the list of top moments that feature a mixture of past and present performances on the big stage.

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