Winter Newsletter Kickoff: Flip Night, Chinese New Year & Minnesota All-Stars
Winter Newsletter Kickoff: Flip Night + Minnesota All-Stars
February was full of memorable moments for our organization. Highlights of the month consisted of Chinese New Year, Flip Saunders Tribute Night and All-Star Weekend for Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler.
On February 15th, the same night we beat the Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center, our organization honored the late and great Flip Saunders with his very own tribute night. The night began with pregame speeches from announcer Kevin Harlan, former players Sam Cassell and Chauncey Billups, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and the Saunders family. It then proceeded with the unveiling of a Flip banner in the arena’s rafters, a special speed painting performance from artist David Garibaldi, and a post game jersey and shoe auction.
The tribute night was one to remember as we celebrated the life of a Minnesota basketball legend. May Flip’s vision live on forever.
Relive the night by watching the Tribute Night video below!
CHINESE NEW YEAR GAME
For several seasons, our organization has celebrated the Chinese New Year, but this year we took the festivities to a whole new level. On February 13th, when we took on the Houston Rockets, we honored the new year with pregame synchronized dribbling and traditional Lion Dance performances from Huaxia Chinese Elementary School, and Gao Hong performed the national anthem with her Chinese pipa. The night then proceeded with a special halftime performance of a traditional Dragon Dance from CAAM Chinese Dance Theater and a Timberwolves Dancers routine set to Chinese pop music. During the third quarter, the team presented Minnesota International Chinese School with a $5,000 donation.
The celebration gained immense recognition and will even be recognized by the Chinese government as one of the official Chinese New Year events around the world.
For the first time since the 2013-14 NBA season, the Timberwolves had players selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game. First-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns and four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler were both selected to play for Team Stephen. While Butler chose to sit out of the festivity for rest, Towns had an impressive debut, posting a stat line of 17 points and 10 rebounds.