One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:48 am

Chapter 36 Make it up as we go Along

The next week felt like the longest Jack Walker had experienced his entire life; the first five days after the injury he couldn’t move much at all without feeling the sharp pain in his lower back. Thanks to religious icing and spending nearly all day on his couch he was able to move around a lot better by the weekend and was feeling neary 100% a few days after that.

Without Jack the Timberwolves lost to the 76ers, Knicks, and Clippers before finally beating the Lakers. After losing again to the Nets to begin the season 1 -5 local media brushed the team and season off saying it was the same old Timberwolves.

Jack started the next game at home versus the Bucks and played well enough; scoring nine points and earning a big twelve point win. From there they won five of their next seven to finish the month of November at 7 – 7. Despite this the month ended on a loss in Phoenix to the lowly Suns wherein the home team put up 59 points thanks largly to lazy defending. Jack decided he wanted to say something and the press in the locker room were more than willing to listen.

“Tough loss tonight Jack, what were your thoughts on the game?”

“Yeah it was a tough loss but what can you really expect with a defensive effort like that? I mean over the last week or two we’ve been able to skate by a couple of games, string some wins together… But if we don't improve on defense we’ll be at home sittin’ on our butts in May.”

“Whats your main complaint about your temamtes’ defense so far this season?”

“Its gotta be the effort. The way I see it, to make a difference on D in the association you’ve gotta play with pride and intensity, set your mind… ‘I’m not going to allow a single easy shot tonight.’ Once you do that and play with that pride it makes all the difference.”

“In LA, your last stop, the team was criticized at times for its defense. Did you feel like Kobe played the way you’re describing?”

“More often than not... I feel like I can speak from experience on this since the Lakers were able to take Miami, the most dangerous offensive team in the league to OT of game seven and the biggest difference maker of that series was our defense.”

“Did you expect more when you chose to sign with Minnesota?”

“Absoultly. I studied the rosters of all the teams that offered me and I had to look at Minnesota and say ‘Damn they’ve got it all.’ I know we can put the ball in the hoop, if we can just start shutting some teams down we’ll be the best in the league.”

--

Two days later the Timberwolves played at Golden State, facing off with one of the best back court tandems in the league; Steph Curry & Monta Ellis. From first tip it seemed like everything the Warriors did offensively came easily to them and Curry was getting to the rim with little trouble at all. Despite a 15 point effort from Walker Golden State walked away with an easy win as they dropped a ridiculous 64 points on the hapless Timberwolves D.

Sitting in his locker after the game Jack couldn’t help but wonder if his teammates had purposely played poorly on defense. Whenever Jack was screened the switch wouldn’t go smoothly, whenever Curry got loose there was no help defense. Thinking through the rest of the game he became worried he’d made a big mistake going to the media

--

The last matchup of the Timberwolves long four game road trip was against the Thunder whom most analysts had picked to win the West and probably the NBA title as well. Russell Westbrook had already promised the OKC fans he’d be putting up 30 points on the Wolves.

By the time the horn sounded for halftime that didn’t seem to too far from a possibility since the Thunder’s point guard already had 14 along with the home team’s ten point lead. Coach Drew attempted to rally the troops but Jack could see by looking around the locker room that spirits were starting to fade.

“Just sixteen to go boy!” Westbrook shouted at Jack from the other side of the court. Walker looked over his shoulder then shouted loud enough for the rest of his team to hear. “You won’t score another point.”

For the entirety of the third quarter Jack didn’t give Westbrook an inch to play with whether he had the ball or not. Being true to his game Russell threw up five bad shots all of which missed. But Walker could tell he was getting to the All Star, and anyone who was on the floor, in the arena, or watching at home could see it as well.

--

The next day Jack smiled as he read the box score; R. Westbrook, 14 pts. The rest of the team was inspired by Jack’s play on defense as they rolled to a 15 point victory. A day later the Wolves destroyed the Lakers at home behind a tenacious effort in team defense allowing just 35 points.
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:49 am

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Chapter 37 Fast Forward



“Its bull***t man!” Michael Beasley shouted over the heavy bass music. “Best damn team in the league and we can’t get a single All Star!?”

“I know it.” Jack agreed and took another sip of his vodka & tonic.

“Its disrespectful is what it is! I bet Silver adjusted the voting!... ‘Oh look a team that doesn’t play on either coast has the best record in the NBA!? They definitely don’t have an All Star on their roster!’”

--

Beasley was right on the money in his assessment of the lack of Timberwolves at All Star weekend. Since Jack had shut down Westbrook in the second half of their early December matchup the Timberwolves had been totally dominant to the point where they were hands down the best team in the NBA sitting at the All Star break with a record of 38-14.

Jack lead the way on the scoring end but really every starter contributed a lot and any given night Love, Harden, Beasley, or Randolph was dangerous to go off for 12 to 16 points. Despite their offensive diversity the team was in the middle of the pack in terms of points per game scored. Their real strength ended up being on the defensive end; they lead the NBA in points against.

All season opponents struggled with the combination of great length that Minnesota had in their front court along with the speed and quickness Harden and Walker provided in the backcourt. Once the squad was able to come together and play with intensity on the defensive end everything clicked and Coach Drew’s fast break system just soared.

Local interest and ticket sales also began to soar thanks partially to the Wild’s inability to win and the Vikings inability to find a decent quarterback. Jack reveled in the joy of playing in front of sold out crowds that seemed to be just as amped up as the “Cameron Crazies”. As he would often say to the media he had played in Oklahoma City and it was nothing compared to the crowds at The Den. It appeared after only a half of a season that the Timberwolves future was just as bright as Jim Calloway had predicted and the boss was at every home game, right in the front row to enjoy the show.

--

Out of the winning streak the newest NBA ‘Odd Couple’ was born in the friendship between Jack Walker and Michael Beasley. Jack was concerned before training camp even started that the rumors saying Beasley wasn’t a hard worker or a good teammate were true. The more they played together though the more clear it became that neither of those rumors were true at all.

The two started sitting next to each other on long plane rides and would talk at length about NBA life. Beasley was forthright about his drug use in the past and how it had nearly derailed his career. Though no one would compare the former K State Wildcat to the coke sniffing NBAers of the ‘80s, he realized if he continued to skirt the league’s Marijuana laws eventually nobody would give him a job in basketball. Walker could see Beasley’s passion to win and prove his doubters wrong was sincere and the two build a friendship around that. This is why the two were enjoying beverages and good looking company while half watching the All Star game at the First Ave Club in downtown Minneapolis.

“No one’s gonna give a s**t about All Star selections when we’re holding the Larry O’Brien trophy in May.” Jack said.

“I get that but it’s a snub! Its an absolute snub to you and me, the team, hell all these people here ought to be pissed at the NBA right now!” Beasley said pointing out to the crowd of probably three hundred people dancing and drinking and enjoying the music.

“For me, I’d rather be here right now than playing in some BS exhibition game. LOOK, we’ll come back rested up while those pricks in OKC are going to be tired from trying as hard as they can to see who can score more points against a defense that isn’t trying.”

“That’s the truth… Man I can’t wait to play OKC again!”

“Less then a week away.” Jack stated in agreement.

The Thunder and Wolves had only played twice, but each time it was an intense battle. Westbrook certainly didn’t forget about his second half breakdown in the first game and was going full bore the entire second matchup. Beasley had the tougher assignment in defending KD who was on a mission all season to finally track down his first MVP award. The teams would meet up in Oklahoma once again shortly and Jack was already looking forward to another opportunity to put Westbrook in his place.

Back in reality Beasley’s attention had turned to the blonde grad student who had just sat down next to him. Jack decided to find himself some company for the evening.

--

The month of March wasn’t nearly as kind to the Timberwolves as the first half of the season. It seemed as though the league had adjusted their game plans around the tough defense and offense that relied heavily on sharp shooting. Minnesota finished March 8-6 and still atop the league standings but they weren’t able to get on much of a run.

Jack and Beasley continued to expand their on court work as a duo. They began to cause fits for opponents as they ran the break; Love or Randolph would rebound it and outlet to Jack who would hit Beasley streaking up the wing. From there Michael could either drive the hole or fake the drive and kick back to walker who would be trailing the play, from there Jack would have a wide open jumper.

As March turned into April James Harden came back from a minor injury and the team found its stride breaking off eight wins in a row with only three games remaining. Thanks to their work there was no doubt that they’d sewn up the number one seed and home court throughout the playoffs.

The Wolves’ fast paced offense had given Jack open looks all season and unless a miracle happened he would end up winning the scoring title. This brought some MVP speculation and even a “campaign’ for him to win the award from the Timberwolves’ marketing department but he knew his turnover numbers were too high and Durant’s game all too complete for him to not take the award home.

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“Welcome to PTI boys and girls in today’s episode we talk about Tiger’s latest injury drama and NFL draft prospects but first we go to the NBA… The season of extreme parity has come to a close and now we look to the playoffs where there are few teams fueled by the big name stars we’ve come to expect in the NBA playoffs. Wilbon, what do we have to look forward to over the next month?”

“Well Tony for most folks this will look like a boring playoff set up. The Lakers didn’t even reach the post season, LeBron and the Celtics only made the seven seed so no one is really looking at them to get past Milwaukee. But there are intriguing storylines; OKC with Durant is dubbed by everyone to make the finals, the 76ers grabbed a one seed and they’ve sort of been the feel good story of the year…”

“But like I said this isn’t the big star versus big star NBA playoffs that we talk about years later, I‘m lookin at the bracket and I don’t see Kobe v Dunkin or Boston v Miami.”


“No that’s not there but also as you said moments ago its been a season of extreme parity and I look for that to continue! Just looking at these first round matchups I like Golden State versus San Antonio… I like New Jersey versus Indy as a great matchup, Bulls v Wizards.”

“Oh well that didn’t take long for you to bring up Chicago!”

“… And take a look at that team with the number one next to their name in the west! THE MIN-EAP-OLIS Timberwolves! They’re the most sound team in the league and the most fun to watch all season, if they make a run I’ll tell you the superstar you’re looking for will end up being one Jack Walker.”

“You’re right Walker has quietly become a real difference maker, he stepped out of the shadow having played with Kobe the last two seasons, their season and Philly’s have been great fun but unless one of them wins the title this will go down in history as a boring playoff! Look; in the west all roads to the finals go through OKC and in the east all roads to the final go through New Jersey and I don’t see either of these ‘feel good teams’ winning over seven games.”

“We’ll just have to see Tony…”
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:05 pm

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2015 NBA Playoffs 1st Round


Eastern Conference

1.Image-VS-8. Image

4. Image-VS-5.Image

3. Image-VS-6. Image

2. Image-VS-7. Image

Western Conference

1. Image-VS-8. Image

4. Image-VS-5.Image

3. Image-VS-6. Image

2. Image-VS-7. Image
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby Kevin on Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:15 pm

Good luck :D
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:00 am

KFAN Bumper to Bumper

“Happy Friday listeners you’ve got it tuned to KFAN 100.3 on the FM dial, Dan Barreiro here with you on Bumper to Bumper sports. Jam packed show today we’ve got Jack Walker calling in here shortly to discuss The Wolves first round matchup against the Sacramento Kings. A little later on Mike Florio from profootballtalk.com will be on the line talking about what holes the Vikings will be looking to fill in the upcoming draft. And of course we’ll be taking your calls.

“First of all as promised we’ve got Jack Walker on the Jimmy John’s Fast Sub hotline. Jack thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us here; I’m sure you’re busy prepping for Sacramento.”

“Dan always a pleasure chatting with you of course. To be honest the prep so far has simply been resting up and kind of getting our feet back under us after the long regular season.”

“I’m sure 82 games takes everything out of a player. As I’m sure you know The Timberwolves have only made it out of the first round once and that was back in 2004 tell us how it is you’re preparing for your first round opponent the Sacramento Kings.”

“Well the preparation in the playoffs isn’t a whole lot different than the regular season, the only difference being that you’ll be playing these guys four to seven games in a row instead of once then moving on. So that means we’re examining our matchups, watching plenty of film which the few days off allows… For Sacramento specifically the coaching staff is looking at what we need to do defensively to shut down all of their scoring options.”

“Yeah I’m looking at their season stats; it looks like they really spread the ball around.”

“They do, so it will be an interesting matchup in that regard because that’s really our greatest offensive strength as well. Offensively we’re just studying what’s worked against them throughout the season and checking the tapes of our previous matchups to review how they’re going to try to defend us.”

“Nice. So you guys fought it out and secured the best record in the NBA, what kind of expectations do you have for the team going into the playoffs?”

“Dan as a team we don’t have a whole lot of expectations for ourselves. We’re confident we can get to the finals no matter what opponent is thrown our way but for right now we’re just trying to play each game as if its our last.”

“So a never say die attitude throughout the locker room? Jack as I’m sure you know and everyone around the city know all to well, this is the just the Timberwolves’ second time qualifying for the playoffs since 2004. Now with the best regular season record fans seem to be putting great expectations on the team, how do you deal with that?”

“Well that’s just part of being an athlete wherein you have supporters and fans. You know whether you finish the season in dead last or win it all the fans have expectations and we’re on the floor doin’ our best to exceed those expectations. As for the fans in here Minnesota, they’ve been fantastic all year long and we’re looking for more of that now during playoff time. We’ll be working our butts off as long as we get the same great support of people packing the Wolf Den and being as loud as they can.”

“So a bit of a challenge being issued to the Timberwolves fans out there, Jack Walker wants to see The Den packed and stacked for game one versus the Kings! Love it! Jack thanks so much and best of luck against the Kings.”

“Thanks Dan.”
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:18 am

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Chapter 38 All Eyes On Me

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Game 1


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“Welcome back to the Target Center everybody Dave Benz and Jim Peterson here with you as we wrap up the Timberwolves’ game one victory over the Sacramento Kings. Jim, what can you say about Jack Walker’s performance tonight other that simply; Wow?”

“Not much Dave. The stars shine brightest when the playoffs are on and Jack Walker did just that scoring a ridiculous 25 points and dishing out four assists. Just as spectacular as Walker’s performance though was how totally absent the rest of the team was… Looking at the final box score; Harden had five, Randolph scored six, Love had four and just a measly two points coming from Beasley. Jack Walker just put this team on his back and carried them to a win tonight but I don’t see that as being the long term strategy for this series, if they want to avoid what would be a huge upset they’ve got to bring it as a team in game two.”

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Game 2

“And with the horn the Timberwolves’ go up two games to none in the NBA playoffs first round over the Kings. Here with his instant reaction to the game tonight Jim Peterson.”

“Thanks Dave and what a difference two days makes. I’m not sure if it was a lack of focus or passion in game one but this looked like a totally different team this evening, shredding the Kings defense for 67 points, Beasley gets the double double, James Harden was hot from three point land all night. This was the performance we’ve come to expect from these guys throughout the season and they delivered in spades tonight.”

“And perhaps Jim, the only drawback having been the lack of defense up until the fourth quarter.”

“Yes the defense was questionable, with the offensive show they put on you certainly expect to be able to have a solid lead coming into the final frame but we saw the animated discussion on the bench before the fourth quarter, Jack Walker, leading the huddle there. And the team came out with much more intensity defensively and for the second straight game held the Kings to under ten points in the fourth quarter. Impressive work down the stretch on both ends of the floor really.”

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Game 3


“Jim, what a performance tonight by both teams.”

“That it was Dave, no defense much at all tonight in Sacramento and the Kings showed they’re not going to lay down in this series. Incredibly, nearly all ten starters for both teams scored in double digits with Walker leading the way with fifteen. For the second game in a row we saw a great all around team performance offensively for Minnesota. The defense was certainly suspect but I didn’t see a ton of problems there, the fact of the matter was Sacramento just had an outstanding shooting night.”

“Thanks Jim, we’ll see if Minnesota can bounce back two nights from now on the road and take game four.”

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Game 4


“So the Timberwolves will be heading back to the friendly confines just a game away from advancing to the conference semi finals. Jim with Sacramento on the brink of elimination, what adjustments do you expect them to make?”

“Well they’ve got to figure something out defensively since game two they’ve shot the ball very well, they’re going to have to keep that up while also slowing down the Tmberwolves offense, specifically Jack Walker.”

“Indeed, Walker with fifteen points in each of the last two games and the Kings getting a real taste of the floor general he’s become thought the year.”

“That’s right Dave, his maturation as a basketball player and a leader of the offense is the number one reason Minnesota is picked to win the west, if Sacramento doesn’t want to go home they’re going to have to slow the point guard down.”

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Game 5

“So the Kings will live to see another game played at their home the Sleep Train Arena. Jim what was your key tonight to their victory?”

“Dave they did all the right things to shut Jack Walker down, he was able to pour in fourteen points but gave up six turnovers which is way too many and the rest of the Wolves lineup suffered with Randolph being the only ther player to score in double digits.

As we saw in the first half The Kings were able to get off to a very solid start carrying a five point lead into halftime which they held onto despite a fourth quarter run by Minnesota.”

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Game 6

“… And with the horn the Minnesota Timberwolves will advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2004! And we see the traditional handshakes, I’m sure the flight back to Minneapolis will certainly be a happy one.”

“That it will you could see the team, especially Walker, kick it up a notch tonight, not wanting to have to go to game seven.”

“That was evident from the first quarter, the team dominating Sacramento early 21 to 5 in the first frame.”

“Yeah the focus was definitely evident early and they rode that to an easy victory despite the frantic comeback attempt at the end.”

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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:11 am

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2015 NBA PLayoffs 2nd Round


Eastern Conference
1.Image V 5. Image

2. Image V 3.Image

Western Conference

1. Image V. 4. Image

2. Image V 6. Image
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:10 am

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Chapter 39 One Step Closer

Jack Walker and the Minnesota Timberwolves would face off against San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the 2015 NBA playoffs. San Antonio was a familiar matchup for Jack since he had played them in the first round with the Lakers just a year prior.

It was obvious that Greg Popovich still had a lot of magic up his sleeve just by getting the sub .500 team past the Golden State Warriors in five games and to the conference semi finals. But the Spurs just did not contain the talent necessary to keep the Wolves at bay.

The series led off, unfortunately, with what may go down as the ugliest playoff performance two teams have ever come up with. Minnesota pulled out a ten point win and jack put up 14 points on 50% shooting but other than that there wasn’t a single bright spot to speak of in at game where neither team broke 40 points. Greg Popovich spent most of the second half in disbelief on the bench that his team could play so poorly but Coach Drew wasn’t all to happy either. When it was all said and done though the Timberwolves were up one game to zero and that’s what mattered most.

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For how bad game one was, game two made up for it and then some. In standard Popovich fashion the Spurs totally threw out their game plan from two nights before and went with a new set which paid off in spades. On the night Nicolas Batum put up a ridiculous 19 points while sinking three of four three pointers. Coach Drew tried to counter with Doug North off the bench, thinking his athleticism would help with guarding the perimeter better but he was little help at all.

Defending the marauding Batum too Jack and Harden off their assignments allowing Johnny Flynn and DJ Augustin to get open shots as well. The fourth quarter was a complete shootout with the Spurs just barely able to get their noses ahead at the end resulting in a series tied at a game apiece.

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Games three and four saw San Antonio revert to type as Coach Drew installed adjustments for the Batum offensive. The defensive adjustments worked like a charm and with the paint on lockdown Johnny Flynn was left to improvise which went extramly poorly as he shot five of eighteen between the two games. Jack scorched his struggling counterpart for seventeen points in game four before the series shifted back to Minneapolis where the home team would be just one win away from a visit to the Western conference finals.

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The Timberwolves closed out their second round series in game five thanks largely to more bad shooting by the Spurs. The home team outscored their opponents 30 to twelve in the second and third quarters to seal the victory and guarantee a ticket to the conference finals. Jack shot 50% from the field on his way to a twelve point night but the headline was how dangerous the entire team looked with just about the entire squad contributing at least two points.

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Back in the locker room the team celebrated. Jack & James Harden were the only players on the roster that had even been to the second round of the playoffs much less played in the conference finals or NBA finals. Jack made sure to make the rounds high fiving and bumping fists with Beasley, Randolph, Wesley Johnson, all the guys who had toiled in the NBA wilderness for years. Many of the guys had also been in Minnesota for many years and hadn’t felt the power of a loud home crowd for a long time.

While going around the room Jack saw Kevin Love sitting in his locker with his head down.

“What’s up big guy? Not interested in celebrating?” Jack said sitting down next to the 6-10 power forward.

“I’m just trying to memorize this feeling.” Love looked up at Jack and he saw the pure joy and relief Love had in his face. “Its incredible… You know I’ve spent nearly my entire career on a team that’s under .500? This makes up for all of it.”

“Enjoy it man, but we’ve got OKC still ahead of us, and then who knows after that.”

“I know, I’m just enjoying this tonight though. The fans are STILL out there celebrating!”

--

Indeed the fans were still celebrating in and around the Target Center when just about the entire team made their way from their facilities across the street to the First Avenue club where the entire VIP area was waiting for them. Drinks flowed and the music pulsed as everyone laughed and recounted pivotal moments from the previous eleven games. Often the player or nearby fans would shout ‘Bring on OKC!!’.

As per usual several girls were persistent but that night Jack went home with only a few phone numbers he was sure he’d be dialing soon enough. He was glad to be solo as he made it back to his apartment, flicked on some music and poured a Vodka & tonic.

Out on his penthouse balcony Jack enjoyed a cool breeze and the fine view of the Wells Fargo Center and the IDS Tower, the two most iconic landmarks of downtown Minneapolis. Right now they were both lit up in a dark bluish color to honor their hometown team on the brink of a finals berth.

Minneapolis hadn’t seen a champion since the Twins won the world series in 1991, almost twenty five years prior. In that time the Twins floundered before a solid run of playoff appearances but still had never won the AL pennant. The Vikings went to three Super Bowls in four seasons in the ‘70s and visited the playoffs several times since then despite never again playing in the last game of the season. Finally the beloved North Stars packed up their gear and left for Dallas in 1993 only to be replaced by the Wild in 2000 whose futility on the ice is a running gag.

Sitting back Jack ruminated on the season he had had. For once though, and it must have been the drinks, he was thinking of the people in his life, not the shooting percentages and turnover/assist ratios. There was no doubt he had made the right choice coming to the Twin Cities.

The team was a close group; Jim Calloway rarely missed a game but knew to stay away from the front office decisions. Scott Layden was the man with the plan and the foresight to bring in himself and Harden. Finally Larry Drew; he was the true leader of the team, the players respected him and he was never too hard headed to step back and say ‘this isn’t working lets try something else.’

A true group of cast offs the Timberwolves were indeed Jack thought to himself smiling. But not since playing at Xavier had he truly felt like he was playing on a team, working alongside a group of guys that you’d go through a wall for and they would do just the same for you.

Jack laughed aloud pondering the superlatives his teammates had been dubbed through their careers; drug addict, lazy, defensive liability, low potential, undersized.

Walker thought; ‘Well Minneapolis, this group of lazy, drug addicted, undersized, basketball players are finally gonna make you proud of your hometown team.’
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:11 am

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2015 NBA Playoffs Conference Finals


Eastern Conference

1. Image V 3. Image

Western Conference

1. Image V 2. Image
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby Kevin on Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:38 am

Oh god, 76ers FTW. Can you tell us what the roster of Philly consist of right now?
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:44 am

Yeah sort of totally rando NBA 2K sim logic but they had the top seed. Anyway I'll try to remember to go back & look.
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:52 am

Sorry for the prolonged, unplanned hiatus. Planning to have a new update by the end of the week.
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:21 am

All:


Thanks for checking back in after so long without an update. In the next chapter the timeline bounces around a lot which I did on purpose. Please let me know if it makes no sense at all or is hard to follow.
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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:41 am

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Chapter 40 Balance

October 3rd 2015 Minneapolis, MN

Jayson squared up and let his shot go despite two hands being right in his face. The shot sank, good for two points eliciting a celebration from the shooter and the rest of his team. Jack Walker jogged back to get on defense where he was marking up against the next biggest player on the court, a 5’6” seventh grader named Dante.

This game was far from organized; the team Jack was playing on was comprised of six or seven middle schoolers and himself versus probably nine other middle school aged kids. There were no referees or score board and Jack was sure that if he’d asked each player on the court what the score was every one would come up with a different answer. But the kids were smiling and laughing as they ran up and down the beautiful brand new Timberwolves Community Courts at the corner of Park Ave & East 28th in the Whitier community of Minneapolis.

Back in June Jack decided it was time to get more involved in the Minneapolis community but wasn’t sure to begin. He met with the big man , Jim Calloway to discuss. They talked about the NBA programs; NBA Cares, NBA Fit, NBA Green, and Hoops for Troops but Jack was more interested in making an impact in the Twin Cities community.

“The Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation is trying to build a basketball court in Whitier. That’s a community only ten minutes from the Target Center but their crime rates are high and there are a lot of impoverished families. We’ve done a lot of research with community leaders there and are hoping a nice court plus some after school programs could really help.” Calloway had said. “We’ve got the location already and are trying to get money to build the court.”

By the end of that meeting Jack had cut a check, personally called a few names on their donor list and what was to be one court would now be three. He challenged his boss to have the facility open by the Timberwolves first game knowing Jim Calloway was a man who delivers.

--

May 15th 2015 Minneapolis, MN

Jack hung his head in the locker room out of shame. Losing in the playoffs wasn’t something new to the fourth year guard but to get beaten at home in game one of the Western Conference Finals was far from a good feeling. He knew the Thunder would be tough but he’d seen everything Westbrook had to offer and was confident he could shut the All Star down as he had before.

But at the end of the game those thoughts were far from Jack’s mind. The dynamic point guard had put up a scorching 22 points while flashing superb shooting and spectacular moves to get to the rim. It turned out he had a whole other level of play once the playoffs hit.

Walker really was embarrassed despite having scored 19 of his own points which nearly overcame their late game deficit. Nevertheless Jack vowed that performance would not repeat itself.

--

May 17th 2015 Minneapolis, MN

The Timberwolves bounced back in game two by thrashing OKC on their way to a 17 points victory. Nearly everyone contributed offensively for the Wolves but once again it was defensive pressure that made the difference in the game. Double teams to Durant and Westbrook whenever possible required Ibaka and the other OKC players to step up but their efforts simply weren’t enough.

In the locker room everyone seemed confidant that with this approach of pressuring the stars they’d be able to scratch out the three more wins it would take to make the finals.

--

May 20th 2015 Oklahoma City, OK

After game three the Timberwolves locker room was nearly silent, their comeback bid had fallen just short in the fourth quarter resulting in a two games to one series deficite. More importantly Anthony Randolph had gone down in the fourth quarter with a severe ankle sprain and was likely done for the season.

For Jack the emotional roller coaster ride that was the NBA playoffs continued. He was heartened that they had come so close after they fell so far behind in the first quarter plus he was able to shut Westbrook down holding him to just five points. On the other hand, he knew Randolph was probably their biggest advantage on the floor as he excelled at scoring inside, and rebounding against the Thunder’s soft interior.

Jack refused to feel sorry for himself though, they’d come this far and now it was time to rally around each other and overcome.

--

June 1st 2015, Minneapolis, MN

‘18…19….20…Rack’ Jack pushed the bar onto the rack and sat up from the bench panting. He’d never pressed that much weight for that many reps, with each press he imagined a shot he’d missed in the conference finals.

“Thought it might be you in here.” Kevin Love approached the bench press with a grin on his face. “Leave it to Jack Walker to be lifting when everyone else is on a beach somewhere.”

“Timberwolves 2016 NBA champs baby.” Jack laughed as they bumped fists in greeting.

“If I were a betting man I’d have our money on us.” Love agreed.

“Why aren’t you on a beach?” Jack wondered.

“Cody and I are heading to St. Thomas tomorrow, just came by to clean out my locker… What are you’re summer plans?” Now the power forward had a concerned look on his face.

“You’re lookin’ at it. I’m sure I’ll make my way to Cincinnati at some point as well.” Jack said kind of embarrassed.

“Man you gotta get away. If you keep going 365 you’ll burn out.”

“Every damn day man, gotta stay on that girnd.”

“Seriously though, you need to get some balance in your life.” Love responded. Jack realized the conversation had shifted and began feeling defensive. “We all want a title, more than anything, but this is a career not life itself.”

“I’ll be just fine.” Jack brushed it off.

“You’re not the first athlete to be obsessed with winning a championship!”

“Well what the hell do you know? You’ve never won anything.” Jack immediately regretted having said that.

“I been in this league seven years, I’ve seen it. You’ve got your MVP votes and that’s great, but like I said you’ll burn out.”

“Whatever.” Jack stood and walked over to the leg press.

“Look I’m telling you this because I’m trying to help, take it or leave it.” With that Love walked out the weight room and Jack started his reps.

Later he texted K Love
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--

May 22nd 2015 Oklahoma City, OK

Pre game the Timberwolves were fired up to say the least. They’d had a day to absorb the loss of their best inside scoring option in Randolph and move on from it. The coaching staff would be using a platoon of two unheralded young forwards in John John Valentine & Steve Skinner. Each of them had their strengths but neither was consistent enough to command major minutes.

By the final buzzer it was clear the platoon was ineffective but it didn’t matter as Jack, Beasley, and Harden all scored in double digits to even the series at two games apiece. Everyone was relieved to be able to take a game in Oklahoma but there wasn’t much chest thumping as they knew there were challenges ahead.

--
July 16th 2015, Chicago IL

“CUT! Nice work Jack, we’ll take a look, hang tight for five minutes.” Larry, the fast talking director, shouted from his chair before he scurried off to talk to some tech about lighting or something.

Through most of his life Jack thought there was no way he’d ever not want to be in a gym or on a basketball court, today though proved the exception. Filming a TV commercial had to be the most tedious, boring undertaking the human race had ever come up with. He’d already been on set for three hours and having done this a few times before he knew it would take at least another hour for his ten second segment to be finished.

He felt like he was at the NBA draft combine or something… Run up the sideline, cross over here, spin twice, run down the sideline, take a jumper, make a layup, spin the ball on your finger. Jack accepted that this was part of his job and was happy to let Under Armor pay his bills but there had to be some way to make the experience more enjoyable.

“Alright Jack feeling good?” the fast talking director had returned.

“Ye—.”

“Great now we’re gonna get the big dunk which will finish the spot, you ready?” This guy had a habit of cutting people off.

“Su—.”

“Faaanntastic. So you’re gonna drive the, uhh… the…”

“The lane?”

“Yeah that’s it, drive the lane, and dunk it as hard as you can, land and stare the camera down got that?” Larry may have also had a coke habit. Jack shrugged, grabbed the ball and set up at the three point line.

“Aaannd ACTION!” On cue Jack dribbled twice took off and one handed the ball through the rim thinking the entire time he might be able to get out of here early. He missed the camera stair down though.

“AGGHHhh! CUT! Jack that was great, very close. Just don’t forget to stare down the camera after you land. Roll it back people! All set?” Suddenly something diverted Larry’s attention. “Brooke! Brooke, Larry Samsonite, director, it’s so good to meet you!” Jack looked over to find one of the other players featured in the spot had arrived.

Brooke Ballard played for the Chicago Sky of the WNBA and had become a bit of a sensation when she averaged over forty points a game in a fifteen game span while also averaging over 55% shooting. At the moment though, Jack could care less about her shooting numbers because as it turned out, besides being an amazing player, she was also a stone cold fox. He quickly decided to introduce himself.

“Oh Jack! Yes yes, Brooke Ballard this is Jack Walker.”

“Oh hey, good to meet you, I’m a big fan.” The blonde offered her hand and Jack shook it.

“Thanks, good to meet you too, nice shooting there for those game.” Jack kicked himself mentally.

“Yeeahh thanks.”

“Brooke I’m so sorry but we’re a bit behind with Jack” Larry interjected. “We’re trying to finish up right now, hang tight for five minutes and we’ll be get going with you in a moment.”

Jack took his spot again and again on cue dunked the ball. This time he was thinking more about a certain blonde who was watching the proceedings than looking into the camera.

“Jack, good stuff, really good. We need to get that stair down though. Remember dunk, land, aaannnd stair down gimme your meanest game face.” Brooke giggled at this. “OK take number three… Sh*t, Mike how did the lighting get like this!? The background is all washed out!” Larry again vacated his seat and Jack again made his way over to where Brooke was standing.

“So… You don’t dunk much, why would they have you dunk in a commercial?” Brooke immediately challenged Jack throwing him off a bit.

“Because dunks are more exciting I guess, I don’t write the ads I just do what they tell me.” Jack smiled.

“Worried you’re gonna miss?” She said grinning.

“What? No… What would make you think that?”

“Just, I’ve watched some Wolves games and you’re not exactly jumping out of the gym.” She smiled, obviously enjoying herself.

“I’m used to taking criticism from strangers but it’s not often to my face.” Jack faked indignation.

“We’re not strangers we just met, heck we might even become best friends.” She smiled again

“Not when you’re questioning my hops right off the bat.”

“Look I’m trying to help; maybe a layup would be smarter.” Brooke said trying to seem truly concerned.

“Alright, just for that I’m gonna reverse two hand it next time.” Jack was enjoying the banter and was pretty sure Brooke was as well.

“I’d be really surprised if you pull that off, maybe even impressed.”

“Then a wager perhaps?”

“What’s the bet?”

“If I get it dinner is on you, if not, I’ll buy.”

“Deal.” They shook hands and Larry conveniently chose that moment to return.

“Alright take three, ACTION!” The director shouted.

--

“How long are you in Chicago?” Brooke asked as she and Jack walked the streets of Wrigleyville slowly heading toward her apartment.

The date couldn’t have been going better in Jack’s estimation. Dinner was full of good food, good wine, easy conversation and a lot of laughing. Brooke looked fantastic in a simple skirt and Jack liked how her whole face lit up when she smiled.

“I was planning to head to Cincinnati tomorrow… but I might be convinced to stay another night.”

“How about this; we play Tulsa tomorrow, you can come to the game and then I’ll take you out to my favorite late night dinner place after that? I’ll buy this time.” Brooke smiled.

“No dunking bet this time?” Jack laughed.

“No way! I’m more self aware than to go around spouting off that I can reverse two-hand!” They both laughed followed by a lull, Jack took the chance to employ the 90/10 rule and he got the response he was hoping for.

“That plan sounds great.” Jack said pulling back.

“Good night.” Brooke was beaming.

Needless to say Jack and Brooke kept in touch throughout the summer.


--

May 24th 2015 Minneapolis, MN

The Timberwolves coughed up another playoff game at home, and Jack felt sick to his stomach. Again, down early the team tried to mount a fourth quarter come back and yet again they fell short. The power center platoon was totally ineffective at both ends. Smelling blood in the water Kevin Durant attacked and attacked and attacked. The league MVP put up 25 points and the Timberwolves were basically helpless to stop him. Double teams, zones, cutting off passing lanes, it didn’t matter. The Slim Reaper was on that night and the Minnesota basketball club felt his fury.

Going forward Jack knew his team’s back was up against the wall and a man down. He couldn't fight the feeling in his stomach, the same feeling he got after game four of the 2013 NBA Finals.

--

August 17th Mackinac Island, MI

Jack looked out over the waters of Lake Michigan with a satisfied smile. It was the final evening of a six day boating trip from Duluth, Minnesota to Traverse City, Michigan which he had planned, financed, and executed all by himself.

Well, it was supposed to be a six day trip but the engine on his brand new 35’ Regal Sport left him stranded for an extra day in Ontonagon, Michigan before a mechanic could get to the remote Upper Peninsula town and repair the problem. Then weather kept him in Sault St. Marie, Michigan for two days. After that Jack headed southward to Mackinac Island where he now sat at anchor looking forward to completing his journey.

When he was younger Jack spent many summers in and around the water, boating, skiing, and swimming. Soon enough though basketball took up his time in the summer, fall, winter and spring. In that time though he always remembered the bliss of cruising the waters of Lake Michigan in swim trunks and a ball cap with the sun shining down from above.

The last eight days were the longest Jack had spent in over ten years without taking a jump shot, looking at film, or even bouncing a basketball. He had thought about taking some film along with him or at least some old video of the ‘86 or ‘87 finals. But in the end he just brought some reading material and several movies for the few down times.

He was away from basketball but still constantly busy monitoring weather, checking the boat, checking supplies, and confirming the course he was on. It was nine days completely void of basketball. The trip didn’t by any means serve to tell the four year NBAer that he was not longer in love with the game, just as a reminder that there are other things out there.

Jack took another sip of beer and decided he still held his ultimate championship goal in high regard, but he also felt like it was time for some other goals. He wondered what Brooke was up to at that moment.

--

May 27th 2015 Oklahoma City, OK

When Jack stepped into the locker room he immediately picked up a nearby chair & tossed it with all he had left into the far wall, from there he flipped over a folding table in the middle of the room sending athletic tape and Gatorade bottles flying. The tantrum was short lived though as he was simply deflated more than enraged so he just sat down at his locker and stared at it While the rest of the team filed in.

Anthony Randolph limped up to Jack.

“I’m sorry man, woulda’ been different if my ankle hadn’t given out.” The big man sighed.

“Don’t be sorry, nothin’ you coulda’ changed about it. Just be sure to heal up quick, our campaign for the 2016 NBA Title started ten minutes ago.” Randolph appreciated the words and went on his way. He hadn’t even broken a sweat during the five minutes he played that night but no one would have expected any more from him given the pain he was in.

Jack turned around on his stool and surveyed the room. It was the third consecutive year he’d made it to the conference finals and not won a title but for everyone else in and around the organization it was the first time since 2004 they had made it past the first round of the playoffs. He was all too familiar with the stunned, empty expression everyone wore on their face. It was the look of realization that the season was suddenly over and the feel good story of the “underdog” Minnesota Timberwolves had ended all too soon.

The team got out of dodge as soon as possible and landed at MSP just after 2 AM local time. Jack was glad to be home, he likely wouldn’t sleep much that night but he just looked forward to some couch time, to his surprise though there were somewhere around 10,000 Timberwolves fans waiting at the airport to greet their team despite the losing effort.

Everyone was decked out in Wolves gear and several people were holing signs saying “We’re still proud of our team!” and “Thanks for a great season!” Although he was in a foul mood before Jack couldn’t suppress a smile once he saw the outpouring from the fans. He made sure to stick around and sign as many autographs as he could.

--

October 3rd 2015, Minneapolis, MN

“Did everyone have fun today!?” Jack shouted to the thirty middle school aged kids gathered around him at mid court. The sun was bright, temperature perfect for October.
“Yeah!” The kids answered in unison.

“I’m not sure you heard me, DID EVERYONE HAVE FUN TODAY!?”

“YEAHHHH!!!” The kids shouted at full throat.

“How awesome are these new courts!?” Jack shouted back and received hearty encouragement from all in attendance. “They sure are awesome. Can you all thank Mr. Calloway for helping bring this facility to Whitier!?”

“THANKS MR. CALLOWAY!”

“Indeed thank you Mr. Calloway, and thank you kids and parents for all coming out to enjoy some basketball with me on this beautiful day. It’s my hope that the Timberwolves Community Courts can serve as a meeting point for people of the Whitier community and a safe place for children of all ages.”

--

Hours later after signing hundreds of jerseys, hats, and balls Jack was back at his penthouse reviewing film from the Timberwolves three regular season games against the Thunder.

There had been very few changes to Minnesota’s roster over the off season so checking back on the game film was a pretty simple process. All five starters would be the same, just a year older. At that moment they’d played approximately 90 games over the last season with the exact same core of starters and role players.

Jack looked forward to the beginning of camp and then the regular season. Though the players on the team would be the same he felt like he had changed.

Just then his phone rang, he was glad to see it was Brooke calling.
"One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey"


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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:38 am

KevinParker13 wrote:Oh god, 76ers FTW. Can you tell us what the roster of Philly consist of right now?


Almost forgot, but I didn't... Here is the 76ers roster at the end of the 2014-15 season in order of average playing time

Danny Granger
Andray Igoudala
Grant Edwards
Jrue Holiday
Spencer Hawes
Louis Tiner
Horace Strong (2014 rnd 1 pick 1 Ohio State)
Chris Kaman
Craig Brackins
Bill Walker
Herbert Strong (2013 rnd 2 pick 1 La Tech)
Jared Delk (2014 rnd 1 pick 18 Louisville)
Raymon Bowen (2014 Rnd 2 pick 1 UNC Charlotte )
"One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey"


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Re: One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey

Postby unitas9 on Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:19 am

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Chapter 41 It's All Been Done

“You were brilliant last night.” Brooke Ballard said right after answering the phone.

“Thanks, I’m happy with it.” Jack said. He was half watching the afternoon sports center on mute from his room at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix. After thoroughly trouncing Utah in their season opener the team quickly boarded a plane for Arizona. Though he finally felt like he was on the team he was meant to be on it didn’t make the NBA any less of a grin..

“Happy with it? 19 points, five assists and you won? You should be psyched!”

“What did you memorize my stat line?”

“No, I might just be curious how you’re playing from time to time.”

“So you’re an NBA groupie then?”

“Oh my God you did NOT just say that!” Brooke shouted laughing.

“Hey it’s no big deal I’ve met plenty of nice groupies.”

“I’m going to hang up right now if you don’t stop talking like that!”

“Alright, alright you’re not an NBA groupie.” Jack conceded.

“Thank you…” there was a pause in the conversation. “I can’t believe you don’t play in Chicago until January!”

“I know. I’m back home in a week though, why don’t you come up for the weekend?” Jack was testing the waters here.

“Uhhh yeah maybe, I’d have to check my schedule.” Brooke was purposely being non committal and Jack knew it.

“Yeah, just think about it, the city of lakes has a lot to offer.”

“That’s seriously Minneapolis’ nickname? That’s so lame.”

“I know but hey I didn’t come up with it.”

“Anyway, I’ll check and let you know. I’m sorry to cut this off but I’ve gotta run. Good luck tonight!” Brooke said.

“Thanks, I’ll talk to ya soon.” Jack ended the call.

After their first two dates in July, Jack and Brooke spoke often on the phone. To Jack it was clear they had chemistry, he knew he had a thing for Brooke and she for him but living in different cities and both playing on professional basketball teams with basically opposite regular season schedules was a challenge to say the least.

After the WNBA season ended they spent a long weekend together in Chicago with Brooke acting as tour guide. They visited Wrigley Field, The Art Institute, Second City and everything in between with long dinners each night followed by walks through Wrigleyville. Jack thought he might end up getting lucky the night before he was to head back for Minneapolis as they shared a passionate embrace on Brooke’s front stoop but that was not to be.

“Look Jack,” Brooke said as they separated. “I really want to invite you up, I… I like you, a lot, but it’s not a good time for me right now.”

“I’m sorry is this too fast?” Jack was sure he wasn’t going to like what he was about to hear.

“No, but sort of yes… I’m not sure, I just…” Brooke struggled. “You’re in Minneapolis where you belong and I’m in Chicago where I belong. Trust me I want to give this a chance, a lot.” She smiled and grasped his hand at this point. “But I don’t want to do the long distance thing…” She was struggling and although Jack didn’t like it one bit he had to respect her wishes. He leaned in for a short kiss and hug.

“Goodbye.” Brooke whispered.

“Goodnight.” Jack replied.

Since that weekend they’d spoken on the phone occasionally and come to an unspoken friendship agreement which basically meant they’d make fun of one another and chat lightly about their day to day goings on. Jack felt like he was being kept at arm’s length.

He recognized that Brooke’s words back in August were true but he was also sure there was something there between them. She wouldn’t stay in touch if there wasn't, would she? Jack sighed and turned Sports Center back up as the highlight reel ran yet again for the Cleveland Browns most recent blowout loss.

--

“J, you’ve gotta give it up, you’re never gonna understand women so you might as well stop trying.” Kevin Love was trying to cheer his locker neighbor up as they suited up for the pre game shoot around that night.

“This from Mr. Commitment.” Jack replied knowing Love was speaking the truth.

“J’s right man, Love has never seen a girl he didn't want to commit to right away.” Michael Beasley butted in from across the cramped visitor’s quarters. “I say we’ll be back in Minny in less than a week, hit First ave and you’ll forget about Beth in no time.”

“Yeah that’s probably exactly what will happen.” Jack replied.

“That’s not what I’m saying…” Love tried to regain the conversation before Anthony Randolph joined in.

“We’ll all go man, a team building retreat to the club! Get some drinks, grab some ones then head home.” The big man laughed though everyone was looking at him as if he had three heads.

“Ones?” Beasley spoke up. “Man that’s you’re taste I go dimes or nothin’”

“No no no, my buddy got me on this binary system.”

“Like computer code?” Jack asked. He was confused as any of them.

“Yeah I guess, look we all got different taste. A dime to Beez may be a eight to me, and cows are dimes to Love here. So go binary, a one is a girl you’d be takin’ home right now, no questions asked. A zero, not so much.” Randolph grinned while the group just stared at him.

“Rando that’s probably the stupidest thing you’ve ever said.” Beasley laughed throwing a sock at him.

“No its genius,” Jack piped up. “None of this ‘well she’s a six now but a eight if I were drunk’ just would you f**k her right now yes or no? I mean that really is the only question isn’t it?”

“Damn right its genius.” Randolph and Jack slapped hands.

“While I do like that Rando, we’ve gotten off topic. Jack, what are you gonna do about this chick?” Love asked.

“Sh*t I don’t know, I know for sure she’s a one though!” everyone cracked up as they made their way out to the floor.

--

Jack wasn’t surprised when Brooke ended up declining his invitation to visit Minneapolis, just disappointed. Despite the let down his focus on the court remained laser sharp throughout the road trip leading to blowout wins in Phoenix and Utah with a narrow victory over the Clippers between the two. A week into the NBA season the Wolves beat Houston convincingly back at The Den to cap off a 5-0 start to the season.

Their third home game was a disappointing loss to the dreadful Detroit Pistons but the consensus was the team was still feeling the long road trip. Coming up that weekend though would be their first nationally televised game of the young season.

The media was hyping the game up as the visiting 76ers were first in the east. Leading up to the game it was business as usual for the home team and since it wasn’t a divisional or even in conference match up, really there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot at stake. Nevertheless TNT hyped the contest and the Twin Cities media rolled with it since the Vikings were already 2-7.

--

“Welcome to the NBA on TNT everyone; I’m Marv Albert here with my partner in crime Steve Kerr set to bring you the Philadelphia 76ers at the Minnesota Timberwolves.”

“Steve, tonight we have the two of the hottest teams so far in this young NBA season, two squads we expect to see at or near the top of their respective conferences all season. What do you look for out of these combatants tonight?”

“Marv, some might say there isn’t a whole lot at stake this evening with it being non conference opponents but it’s a chance for each of them to test their metal against a worthy adversary. Their talent levels are similar, both teams can cause matchup problems, offensively and they both play great defense. A lot of folks picked the 76ers to win the east and a lot of folks picked the Timberwolves to win the west so in terms of the coaches and players see where they are as a team in the early going, this is a big matchup.”

“And Steve these were two of the most balanced teams in terms of scoring last season, do you expect that to continue.”

“Actually not particularly for wither team. The 76ers have done such a good job of drafting recently and then developing those guys into players who fill a role in the offense that compliments their best scorers ad that’s Danny Granger and Andray Igoudala. I look for those two to step up tonight and throughout the season.”

“And for Minneapolis?”

“Its all about Jack Walker here in the Twin Cities. They’ve got excellent talent around him; don’t get me wrong but as Walker goes the Timberwolves go. What we saw from him in terms of improvement from his time in LA to last season and how he’s played in the first six games this season, its impressive growth and I look for him to be a big part of the MVP discussion this season.”

--

“Granger on the wing, he dishes off to Holiday, he’s defended by Walker, now the ball goes inside Spencer Hawes backing down Randolph, tries to spin underneath, up and under lay in good for two!”

--

“Holiday driving on Walker, looses him on the cross, kick out to Granger YES! Danny Granger for three off the sweet feed from Jrue Holiday.”

--

“The Wolves enter the second down by one after a high scoring first quarter.”

“That’s right Al I look for both teams to get tough on defense here in the second.”

“Walker with the iso on Holiday, crosses over, dish to Harden on the top of the key, back to walker, he fakes the shot, sidestep, fires YES! Jack Walker got Holiday off his feat opening himself up for the easy eighteen footer to take the lead.”

--

“Love provide the pick on Holiday, Walker to the wing, step back for three. Got it! Another three pointer for Walker and Minnesota is pulling away here in the second!”

--

“Holiday dribbles between his legs at the three point line, looking to dish inside and he does, Hawes backs down Valentine and finished with the right hand for another two, the big man dominating the low block early here in the second.

“Walker is quick up the floor though, Iguodala steps out on him, Walker bounce pass inside and a two handed slam by Randolph!”

--

“Love backs down on the low block, kicks out to Walker he fires for three! YES! Jack Walker with another triple.”

“Great movement off the ball here by Walker, he lost Holiday thanks to the screen from Beasley to free himself up for an open look and buried the three pointer.”

--

“So to reset its Wolves 36, 76ers 32 at the start of the second half, so far not the defensive battle we expected. Walker brings the ball up court on the first offensive possession of the half. He dribbles between his legs, crosses up Holiday, stop and pop good for two points! Jack Walker is on his way to a big night!

--

“Beasley dishes to Randolph who kicks out to Walker, for three… YES! Jack Walker hits again from three point land.

“That off ball screen has been money for the Timberwolves all night Al!”

--

“So there is the final horn, this Timberwolves crowd goes home happy as their team beats the 76ers 50 to 43.”

“Al, really an impressive performance by Minnesota, James Harden and Kevin Love struggled for the most part but Jack Walker carried this team by pouring in twenty points while going 8 of 14 from the field. He continues his hot start to the season.”
"One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey"


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