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It took eight seasons and a succession of general managers and coaches. So many losses.

But on this night, the future looked extremely bright.

On April 10, 1997, the Timberwolves were Cheap Dean Garrett Jersey in the process of finishing off a 108-96 victory in Los Angeles over the Clippers.

According to Steve Aschburner’s description Minnesota Timberwolves Jerseys China in the Star Tribune the next day, with less than two minutes left and the game in hand, Stephon Marbury smiled, clenched his fists and “hissed a quiet ‘Yes.’ ”

When the final buzzer sounded, Marbury jumped into Kevin Garnett’s arms, then they both shared a hug with veteran Cheap Doug West Jersey Doug West — who had been there since the beginning.

This Week in Minnesota Sports: The complete collection
This Week in Minnesota Sports: The complete collection
The Star Tribune sports staff has been looking back at the anniversaries of some of the big moments in Minnesota sports, and plans on doing…
“That was a tribute to Doug and the rest Cheap Kevin Garnett Jersey of the Timberwolves [people] who have been here from Day 1,” Garnett said at the time.

It was on that night, in the 651st game in franchise history, that the Wolves clinched their first playoff berth.

“It was incredibly exciting,” said sideline reporter Tom Hanneman, who eventually became the team’s TV play-by-play voice Cheap Sam Mitchell Jersey and then studio host. He remembers the joy in the locker room.

“You felt this was just the beginning.”

The talent was coalescing. Tom Gugliotta had been acquired from Golden State in a trade for Donyell Marshall in 1995, the same year Garnett was taken with the fifth overall pick. A year later, in a draft-day trade, the Wolves got Marbury, who had been taken by Milwaukee with the fourth overall pick, for Ray Allen, who Cheap Stephon Marbury Jersey the Wolves had picked fifth. They were surrounded by veterans such as West, Sam Mitchell, Terry Porter and Dean Garrett.

A 26-win team the season before, the 1996-97 Wolves went 40-42. Gugliotta averaged a career-best 20.6 points per game. That season he made his only All-Star Game appearance and Garnett made his first. On the night the Wolves beat the Clippers to clinch a playoff spot, Marbury had 29 points, Gugliotta 23 and Garnett 19 for coach Flip Saunders.

The biggest memory Hanneman had of that game was the next day. The scheduled charter back home was delayed by a Cheap Terry Porter Jersey mechanical issue. So Saunders put the team on a bus and took them bowling.

“I remember it well,” he said. “KG said he’d never bowled before. His first roll was a gutter ball. It didn’t look like he had any form. But within four rolls he was getting consistent strikes. It was a great morning, and it was a bonding experience that nobody had planned. Flip was brilliant at keeping the team together.”

It was the start of eight consecutive playoff appearances for the Wolves. But history shows the team’s trajectory wasn’t as steep as that spring might have promised. The Wolves only got out of the first round once, in 2004. By that time Cheap Tom Gugliotta Jersey both Gugliotta and Marbury, for different reasons, had pushed themselves out of Minnesota.

“I don’t think the future ever looked brighter for the franchise,” Hanneman said of the spring of ’97. “You look back now and think, ‘What if?’ Wolves fans have had a lot of what ifs.”

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Let’s look at the history of the top selection.
The Minnesota Timberwolves landed the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft for only the second time in franchise history.

This draft is already being maligned as relatively weak at the top, but the No. 1 pick is still the No. 1 pick. Not surprisingly, the track record of the top pick is much better than any other spot in the draft’s history.

For their part, the Timberwolves had only landed the top pick once, despite participating in the lottery 22 times in 30 years. Of course, that was in 2015 when they landed All-Star big man Cheap Karl-Anthony Towns Jersey. (Yes, the Wolves had No. 1 pick Cheap Andrew Wiggins Jersey on the roster and he won Rookie of the Year, but that was following a post-draft trade.)

There were several big drops for the Wolves in the lottery throughout the years. Most notably was in 1992, when Minnesota finished the regular season with just 15 wins and had the best odds to win the No. 1 pick and select LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal. But they dropped to No. 3, missing out on Alonzo Mourning at No. 2 as well and ultimately settling for Cheap Christian Laettner Jersey.

The next year, the Wolves had the second-best odds but fell to No. 5 while Chris Webber went first. Even the No. 2 through No. 4 picks (Shawn Bradley, Anfernee Hardaway, and Jamal Mashburn) all had better careers than Cheap Isaiah Rider Jersey, who went to Minnesota at No. 5.

Again in 1994, the Wolves were tied for the second-best odds but fell to No. 4, missing out on Glenn Robinson, Jason Kidd, and Grant Hill — the latter two Hall-of-Famers and Robinson a two-time All-Star.

And the beat went on throughout much of the 1990s, with the Wolves’ one significant draft victory being the selection of Cheap Kevin Garnett Jersey at No. 5 overall in 1995.

Now that Minnesota finally has another crack at the No. 1 pick, it’s worth going back and looking at what the historical hit rate of the top selection has been. While there are several notable busts, having the No. 1 selection has obviously been advantageous.

Let’s start with the players who came nowhere near matching expectations.
Floyd Little, NFL (1967-1975)

Little was a star running back during his college and NFL days, earning three All-America selections while at Syracuse University and retiring as the NFL’s seventh-leading rusher in 1975. He was also a five-time Pro Bowler.

Kolbe Cathedral (Bridgeport)

Cheap Chris Smith Jersey, NBA (1992-1995)

After his career at UConn, Smith was selected in the second round (34th overall) of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves

Law (Milford)

Nick Newell, MMA (2009-present)

Newell is under contract and fighting in Bellator MMA as a lightweight.

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For 14 years, Al Jefferson put his body on the line as one of the NBA’s top big men. Originally drafted by the Boston Celtics, he suited up for five NBA franchises before taking his talents to China. Of course, taking a pounding in the paint left Jefferson’s body aching for a good night’s sleep. So for $23,000, he bought one.

Al Jefferson developed into one of the NBA’s top big men

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A Mississippi native, Al Jefferson drew attention from the top college basketball programs in the country after averaging nearly 43 points and 18 rebounds as a senior at Prentiss High. However, the highly coveted recruit skipped out on college and took his talents straight to the NBA.

The Celtics selected Jefferson with the 15th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. He spent his first two years coming off the bench before becoming the team’s No. 1 center in 2006-07. Jefferson’s numbers exploded in his first year as a starter, as he averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds in 69 games. His breakout campaign caused his stock to skyrocket.

Danny Ainge traded the promising big man to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a huge package that brought back Cheap Kevin Garnett Jersey. For Jefferson, the move led to an even more prominent role. He averaged 20.1 points per game in three years with the Timberwolves.

Jefferson then spent three years with the Utah Jazz, where he continued to put up terrific numbers as a scorer and rebounder. Yet another three-year stint followed. This time, the aging center suited up for Charlotte. But after watching his numbers decline for years, Al Jefferson’s NBA career ended after a disappointing 2017-18 season with the Indiana Pacers.

Jefferson earned $133 million during his career

RELATED: Former NBA Champion Mike Miller Made Almost $100 Million For a Special Skill

Though he never became a true superstar, Al Jefferson certainly managed to do well for himself from a financial standpoint. Despite never earning a single NBA All-Star selection, the double-double machine made just north of $133 million in his 14-year NBA career.

Jefferson certainly had to work hard to score lucrative paydays. He made less than $1.7 million in each of his three seasons with the Celtics. In fact, it took until his fifth season for him to truly break the bank. After getting traded to the Timberwolves, Jefferson inked a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Though he left money on the table and wanted to prove himself, that turned out to be a bad decision in hindsight. In his second season with the Timberwolves, the rising star suffered a torn ACL. The injury particularly stung because Jefferson had been in the midst of the most productive season of his career.

Ultimately, he made his way back and still managed to do well for himself over the next few years. Jefferson’s highest single-season salary came in 2012-13 when the Jazz paid him $15 million. Even though he made just $4 million in his final NBA season, the former high-school prodigy earned more than enough money to afford anything he wanted.

And as it turns out, Al Jefferson really wanted a good night’s sleep.

The former NBA star dropped $23,000 on a good night’s sleep

RELATED: Michael Jordan Spent $61.5 Million to Fly in Style

Some athletes choose to spend their hard-earned money more wisely than others. Former New York Knicks bust Eddie Curry spent nearly $1,100 per month on cable. Former NFL star Andre Rison blew $1 million just on jewelry. For Cheap Al Jefferson Jersey, though, he bought himself something much more practical: a bed.

Only the price would check in at a level most people would find less than practical. According to Salty City Hoops, Jefferson purchased a 10-foot by 12-foot bed set in 2012 while he played for the Jazz for the cool price of $23,287.

Former teammate Mo Williams posted a picture of the bed on social media. Later, the 6-foot-1, 198-pound point guard snapped a picture of himself on Jefferson’s $23,0000 bed to illustrate the enormity of the mattress.

While both the price and size of the bed seem insane, keep the purchase in context. When you tip the scales at 6-foot-10, 289 pounds, and have made more money than you can ever dream of, spending $23,000 on a good night’s sleep seems like a bargain.