Before the Minnesota Timberwolves, there were the Minneapolis Lakers. After the Lakers headed to Los Angeles back in 1960, the Minnesota area spent nearly three decades without a local professional basketball team with the NBA. So how exactly have the Minnesota Timberwolves progressed since 1989? Let’s take a look at the entire story of the team that makes Minnesota proud to this day.
The Beginning Years
In 1987, Marv Wolfensen and Harvey Ratner were on a quest to bring professional basketball back to Minnesota after the Lakers left in 1960. The NBA approved a brand new team in 1989, allowing the public to get involved and vote on a team name. When given the choice between the finalists, the Timberwolves and the Polars, the Timberwolves won by an overwhelming majority. The team name pays homage to the massive population of timberwolves in the state.
It only took the Timberwolves three games to see their first franchise victory against the Philadelphia 76ers in the inaugural 1989 season. In fact, the first season saw over 1 million fans attend home games, an NBA record despite the team’s less than impressive 22-60 season. The first six years as a team saw 6 different head coaches and the lack of consistency ultimately led the team to struggle to earn even 20 wins on a seasonal basis.
With a struggling team, the two original team owners sought to sell the team in 1994 and a possible relocation to New Orleans, Louisiana. However, local billionaire Glen Taylor stepped in and purchased the team that same year. He would go on to become an owner of the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA just 5 years later. The team’s losing trend took an unexpected turn with the drafting of a recent high school graduate by the name of Kevin Garnett in 1995.
Team management continued to fill the roster with more skilled players, including the likes of Stephon Marbury and Tom Gugliotta. The trio (Marbury, Gugliotta, and Garnett) helped lead the team to an impressive 40-42 record during the 1996 season and secured the first playoff appearance in the history of the Timberwolves. As the seasons progressed, Garnett’s playing style helped to lead the Timberwolves to unexpected success with 23 points per game.
The team logo for the Minnesota Timberwolves has changed a total of 4 times during the history of the team.
1989 - 1996
The first jersey used between 1989 and 1996 was mostly blue with the name “Wolves” in all capital green letters with a thin white border.
1996 - 2008
The 1996 jersey used a very simi lar spooky font, very similar to the one used in the 1997 logo for the team. The jersey is mostly white with black lettering and blue outlines. This jersey included the whole name “Timberwolves” instead of just “Wolves.”
2008 - 2017
The jersey above was first worn in 2008. It was mostly white with the name “Wolves” on the front in somewhat creative fonts. The lettering was black and there was a blue border for all letters and numbers.
2017 - Today
The 2017 Wolves jersey is still worn today. It has a white stripe up top with a white stripe in between. “WOLVES” is written in all capital letters in the center of the jersey, boasting a clearly-visible player number below. A Fitbit logo can be seen in the stripe, opposite the Nike logo.