Blog Profile Central: The Daily Wolf
Get To Know: The Daily Wolf
Editor's Note: The Timberwolves community is fortunate to have a collection of dedicated, knowledgeable blogs that cover the team year in and year out. It's a network of gifted writers who bring a mixture of insightful analysis and humor to the game of basketball and the Wolves. Over the next nine weeks, Timberwolves.com will profile nine members of this community through a series of Q&A sessions with the founders and main contributors at each site. Part IX, our final installment, focuses on The Daily Wolf. This website opened up in 2012 hoping to provide a unique alternative for Timberwolves enthusiasts to come and lose themselves in content that is both captivating and provocative.
Blog Name: The Daily Wolf
Web Address: www.thedailywolf.com
Year Established: 2012
Main Administrators (with Twitter handles): John Meyer (@thedailywolf)
Contributors (with Twitter Handles): John Meyer (@thedailywolf), Jordan Anderson (@thatkidgino), and (Editor) Zak Schneider (@ZSchneider)
What sparked the creation of The Daily Wolf and what is the focus message you try to send to your readers?
Professional basketball was my first crush. I was about 10 years old when I really started to fall in love with the Wolves – it was 1999, Wally’s rookie year, and the Wolves won 50 games for the first time in franchise history (50-32). Since then, the Wolves and the NBA in general has always reigned supreme in my sports driven heart. Ultimately, it was my sheer passion and a deep-rooted love for the team that sparked the creation of the Daily Wolf (DW); plain and simple. I really wanted a place to store my Wolves thoughts, rather than just verbalizing them with friends, and I figured if anyone cared to read they could come and go as they please. I also wanted an avenue to improve my writing and for others to come do the same if interested. The focus message is to do what you’re passionate about; build your own pyramids, write own hieroglyphs. This is a Kendrick Lamar lyric that I have found power and motivation through, because the message is profoundly special. The way I see it, Lamar is urging everyone to stop waiting for society to tell you what to be and what normal is. He’s urging us all to make that move, do you what you believe in and spread the message you want to spread. I just want to spread my love for the Timberwolves and basketball in general.
What will readers find on the DW?
My hope is that readers will find a fresh new place to keep up to date with the Wolves; an undiscovered territory to explore, so to speak. People who visit the DW will find well written articles that provoke reflection, highlight reels that grasp their attention, rumors that spark the imagination, and photos that tell a story – or at least that’s my hope. But truthfully, the singular goal is to provide a unique alternative for Timberwolves enthusiasts to come and lose themselves in content that is both captivating and provocative.
From a feedback standpoint, why do viewers choose to come to the DW?
Ultimately, I’m sure viewers come because they are interested in Wolves content, but honestly I would love to hear why people actually visit the site – positive or negative – since few people have explicitly told me why they do. Every blogger understands that great content rules the day, so my hope is viewers choose to visit the DW because the content is amusing, provocative, and demonstrates thoughtful yet rational reflection. With the DW, my goal has always been to provide that distinctively unique hamburger, one that you cannot find on every other block; metaphorically speaking. Truthfully, I just felt the desire to create a place that encompassed a uniquely different feel from the other Wolves blogs out there – I hope that’s one reason they visit.
What keeps you so dedicated toward analyzing and following the Timberwolves each year?
I’m a Minnesota guy through and through, having lived here my entire life. I fell in love with the Wolves at a young age - when most of my friends were obsessed with Pokémon cards and the Nintendo Game Boy, I found KG post-up moves and Terrell Brandon mid-range jumpers far more interesting. My greatest passion, since my memory permits, has been for sports and the Wolves have always been my main squeeze. The greatest moments in franchise history, and even the trivial or devastating ones too, are far better than fiction could ever hope to be. In many respects, I have always felt a part of the organization, living through the successes and failures with them. I’m not exactly sure how to explain my dedication – it just feels natural. That’s the way it has always been, so why stop now? The highs were wonderful and the lows have been heartbreaking but throughout everything I have always been able to find silver-linings, because I truly believe this franchise is destined for greatness. I really started getting into analyzing them when I got older and began to enjoy writing. For the longest time, I would literally talk my friend’s ears off about the Wolves. Eventually I started to think, why don’t I start to write this down? Now I can share my passion and spread the conversation to a larger audience.
Favorite Wolves memory?
A lot of great memories have been shared already – obviously the playoff series we've been a part of have been intense matchups and great memories - but one of my favorite moments, one that hasn't been shared yet, was Kevin Love’s 31-31 game against the Knicks. I’ll probably draw some flak from my close friends because they know how much I adore Love, who is my favorite player of all-time, but that was the game that really felt like a shining light at the end of the tunnel for the Wolves. For the first time since Garnett was dealt to Boston we had something to be proud of and point to as a defining moment; we found our next franchise player and the entire sports nation was witness. I remember turning on ESPN and erratically fist pumping to the screen. Love was being interviewed and they discussed the historic relevance of his performance – nobody had gone 30-30 in 28 years (Moses Malone was the last to do it, he recorded 32 points and 38 rebounds during the 1981-82 season). I remember reading how Love leaned over to Michael Beasley early in the third quarter, while sitting on the bench, and whispered in his ear, "I'm going for 30 tonight". Beasley looked at Love and said, "Thirty what?" I still find this exchange incredibly entertaining. This was a great memory too because at the time Love was playing less than 30 minutes a game, yet still averaging an astonishing 18 points and 14.6 rebounds. Both Kurt Rambis and the entire basketball nation could no longer ignore Love’s exceptional skills; the feeling was absolutely marvelous. Another one of my favorite memories came on Monday, June 20, 2011. That was the day Ricky Rubio arrived at MSP airport after two years of anticipation and wonder. I always felt deep in my heart that Rubio would come here and be great, though the skeptics and pundits believed otherwise. This was final validation that they were wrong – Rubio would play in Minnesota. Right after his arrival, Love tweeted: "Does anyone have Rosetta Stone entry level Spanish I can use?"
Biggest decision the Wolves need to make/address this offseason?
It’s really basic in principle and easier said than done, but the Wolves only need to do a few things to have a successful offseason. Resigning the beast from Montenegro should be priority No. 1 for the team. Nikola Pekovic is one of the best centers in the entire association and deserves a big contract extension. But the question is, how much money will it take to lock up The Godfather? He is definitely a top 10 center, who could legitimately push for the top 5 as early as next year, but at what threshold do we say, “That’s too much dough to invest. That contract could put us in a bind down the road.” Keeping Pekovic at the right price for the right amount of years is crucial to the success of this offseason. Additionally, balancing out an imbalanced roster are the other most crucial decisions to be made this offseason. I’m sure this is ad nauseam by now but it really should be so I don’t feel too bad regurgitating what the other blog profiles have also indicated; we need to add snipers from the arc. Bottom line, anytime you finish last in the NBA in a category you certainly have to make moves to fix it. The Wolves were historically bad from 3-point range last season and even with the return of Love and Budinger we cannot simply assume that they will fix last season’s epic troubles without additional help.
How do you view the Flip Saunders hire as the new President of Basketball Operations?
I’m a big supporter of the move to replace Kahn with the more transparent - and well respected local figure - Flip Saunders. I know most fans would like to reserve judgment until Flip puts his hand print on the roster, and the organization in general, but truthfully as long as he keeps the current core here for years to come, specifically Love and Rubio, the playoffs should be a habitual lock. The Western Conference is in a shifting stage but the Wolves are in a great situation because we already have our core (Love, Rubio, and Pekovic) and now we just need to keep them happy – I think Flip’s specialty is keeping players content and perhaps that’s exactly what we needed. Remember how long Kevin Garnett stayed here? I genuinely believe that Flip can have the same effect on Love and Rubio. Now I say all of this with one large caveat; Flip has never been the ultimate decision maker. I trust him to be that man, but I would be lying if I said there were zero doubts in my mind about this being his first rodeo in such a position.
What was the most enjoyable storyline in the NBA this season? Why?
The influx and uprising of young all-stars and franchise corner-stone level talent was probably the most enjoyable story line for me. I’m a real sucker for young NBA players and the 2013 All-Star class was bursting with incredibly talented youngsters. There were seven first-time all-stars this season - from youngest to oldest: Kyrie Irving (21), Jrue Holiday (23), Paul George (23), James Harden (23), Brook Lopez (25), Joakim Noah (28), and Tyson Chandler (30) – and all five guys under 25 are either MAX-level players or extremely close to it. I’m utterly fascinated with the 25 and under talent that legitimately blew up this past season, and that’s not merely from the list above. Stephen Curry (yeah it hurts a lot to write his name) and Damian Lillard both took control of their respective teams and were extremely impressive.
Which beat writers do you follow closely to get more information on the Wolves?
My beat writer starting five is: Jon Krawczynski, Zach Harper, Steve McPherson, Jerry Zgoda, and Darren Wolfson. But I haven’t decided who I’m giving the MAX to yet; they’re all deserving in their own right. I also really enjoy Britt Robson, Mark Remme, and Ben Polk. Each and every one of these guys is great to follow if you’re looking to get your Wolves fix.
Which are some of your favorite NBA- and Timberwolves-related blogs you follow?
My two favorite Wolves blogs are: A Wolf Among Wolves and Canis Hoopus. I really dig the articles and fan engagement at both sites. Canis, in particular, was the first basketball blog I visited religiously. Grantland, Hang Time Blog, and the entire TrueHoop nation are my personal favorite NBA blogs; the content at each site is superb and drives terrific conversation.