Ah, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA’s constant reminder that your team could be much, much worse.
The ‘Wolves roster is so ravaged by tanki… I mean, injuries, that they were actually below the league minimum eight players required to dress for their game yesterday against the Knicks. So, the team improvised, and because they were in desperate need to add another player to their roster before the game, they used simple logic: They signed the closest person they could find. Per ESPN:
“We had to fulfill our rules, so we had to go find somebody that was within a train ride away,” Wolves coach Flip Saunders said.
How soon did they need a player? According to Saunders, “We had to have a guy here ready to play at 7:30.”
Where did they turn? Well, with the Knicks D-League affiliate all the way in South Dakota, they called the nearby Delaware 87ers and signed former Cincinnati Bearcat Sean Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick actually drove — from Delaware, where he plays for the 87ers’ of the NBA Development League — and arrived in the Wolves’ locker room at Madison Square Garden about 45 minutes before the start.
He had found out a little after 3 p.m. following the 87ers’ practice that he was headed to New York. He gathered his belongings and headed north.
“I was just getting ready. We had practice today to get ready to play one of the other D-League teams. I didn’t think I was going to end up here,” he said.
Kilpatrick wasn’t a complete stranger to the ‘Wolves, and Saunders said that the team worked him out before the season, so there’s that. The signing actually worked (failed?) because the T-Wolves beat the Knicks in overtime, giving them their 15th win of the season. Kilpatrick didn’t score in his 10 minutes of floor time, but did grab a rebound.
The Knicks are now in sole possession of the worst record in the league, and the ‘Wolves are one game ahead of (behind?) them in the standings.
Kilpatrick was only signed to a 10-day contract, but with Ricky Rubio, Kevin Garnett, Nikola Pekovic, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, Gary Neal, Justin Hamilton and Robbie Hummel all out with injuries, he could be around for a while.
The team will continue to be awful, but Saunders actually found some silver lining in the dark, ominous cloud that is the Timberwolves. “We’ll be undermanned, but guys that have complained in the past about playing time won’t have to worry about it tonight.”
Oh, and this happened: