Munn's Musings | Nov. 26, 2013
Editor’s Note: Vice President of Fan Experience Jeff Munneke is a beloved member of the Timberwolves family, and as an employee of the team since the inaugural 1989-90 season, he has a lot of on and off the court knowledge about the team. That ranges from top halftime acts and coolest players all the way to season ticket eating venues and most memorable games. Each week during the 2013-14, Munn’s going to share that knowledge with us through Top 5 lists in this “Munn’s Musings” blog. Enjoy!
Top 10 Individual Performances Munn Has Witnessed Live
This week I will visit the top individual basketball performances I have seen live in person (I couldn't narrow it down to five, so we'll go with a Top 10 this week). At age 49 and 26 years in this awesome industry I was racing through my recall of approximately 1,100 T-Wolves, 350 High School, 200 Lynx, and 150 Gopher or college games I have had the pleasure of viewing.
I started with a list of 25 trying to whittle down to my top five but really struggled to exclude some of these great memories so I hope you enjoy an expanded musings and perhaps a fun trip down memory lane:
10. Seimone Augustus - October 5, 2011 (36 pts - 15 in the 4th qtr)
Game 2 WNBA finals in front of 15,200 crazy Lynx fans chanting MVP every time she touched the ball, Seimone was dealing a variety of crossovers, spot ups and dribble drives going 11-of-14 from the field and 16-of-21 from the line in a 101-95 victory to put us up 2-0 on the way to our first WNBA Championship
9. Steve Smith - March 4, 1990 - (39 pts and game winner)
Gopher senior day for Willie Burton, Richard Coffey, Shik and Melvin Newburn vs. Michigan State and Steve Smith who got going early with 18 first half points off 3's and 2 monster dunks ending with a corner bucket with 20 seconds to take 75-73 lead. FSN broadcaster Kevin Lynch also had a great game and had a game-winning 3 rim out at the buzzer. Smith was a clever trash talker as well and was letting Clem Haskins and the Gopher bench know that they needed some help to stop him. First time I ever heard "You reach, I teach" and as he was pulling up for a jumper. "Too late."
8. Carlie Wagner - March 17, 2013 (50 pts, final point FT, game ending steal)
After scoring 48 points in the Class AA girls semifinals Carlie scored 50 of her NRHEG teams 60 points along with 12 rebounds all in the flow of the game to win the AA state championship. Can't wait to see her in Gopher Maroon and Gold next year
7. Kevin Love - (41 pts, 17 rbs, 7 blks)
In our 2006-07 Timberwolves Shootout we were ecstatic to bring in the Gatorade and No. 1 player in the country from Lake Oswego, Ore. Had heard the legend of full court chest passes that many of us thought HAD to be exaggerated........at 4-2 vs Osseo, Kevin ripped down a board and with one step rifled a FULL court CHEST pass to hit Pat Adelman (yes, Rick is Dad) in one stride for a lay-up..........stunned silence for about 3 seconds then delayed roar and murmur from the crowd of did we just see that? Timberwolves broadcaster and former NBA player Jim Petersen and I went after the game to see how far we could throw a chest pass and we got it to barely half court. Amazing and still doing it for us to this day.
6. JJ Redick - January 28, 2006 (40 pts - 8 3's)
Number 1 at the time for bucket list to do's, my wife Julie (huge North Carolina fan-from NC), my son Ty and his buddy Tyler Boike took in NC vs. Arizona that afternoon then scooted over to Cameron Indoor to see Duke vs. Virginia that night. What we didn't realize until we got there was we would be watching from three rows behind Coach K in one of the greatest shooting performances we could imagine. With literally 2.5 Virginia Cavaliers draped on Redick all evening he hit 8-of-10 three point bombs and 11 of 13 field goals ending with 40 pts.
5. Kevin Love - November, 12, 2010 (31-31)
The only person on the list twice but because the game was not televised only 15,000 can actually say they witnessed Kevin Love's epic rebounding night. A 30-30 had not happened for 28 years and we also upset the Knicks that evening. You could feel the energy in Target Center grow with each rebound and bucket knowing we were seeing something special and our game ops crew did a great job posting his numbers on the scoreboard after each rebound. After Kevin capped his night with a 3 from the top of the key to get him past 30 points he received a long resounding standing ovation. I have a feeling in time that the number of people who say they were there will grow......
4. Khalid El-Amin - March 21, 1996 (41 pts 9 3's and game winner)
High school legend Khalid and two time defending state champs Minneapolis North rallied deep in the second half when El-Amin hit his last of nine 3s to beat St Thomas Academy at the buzzer in the state tourney semi finals. Minneapolis North would then go on to beat Staples Motley in the state championship 54-52.
3. Tony Parker - November 5, 2008 (55 pts 10 assts and shot to go into OT)
While Al Jefferson and Mike Miller were going to work vs. a surprisingly 0-3 Spurs team Tony Parker was slicing through the paint for his feathery floaters and lay-ins but also hitting jumpers all over the court. Big Al scored with 2.5 seconds left only to have Parker hit a 20 foot leaner to go OT before the Spurs pulled out a 129-125 win. It seemed like only three guys were on the floor for the Spurs and a quick check of the box score showed Parker with 55, Duncan with 30 AND Roger Mason with 26.
2. Scott Skiles - January 18, 1986 (45 pts 20 FGM)
My college basketball coach was a graduate assistant for Michigan St head coach Jud Heathcote. We had an opportunity with an open game night for us to drive to Minneapolis and watch the Spartans get upset by the Gophers despite 45 points and 20 made shots from Skiles many from well behind what is now the 3-point line - with the 3-point line he would have had 52. Skin-tight shorts and long socks was the look back then and Skiles let everyone on the court know he wore it well.
1. KG - May 19, 2004 (32 pts, 21 rbs, 5 blks)
The most iconic game in Timberwolves history has to include the dominating performance of KG in the thrilling 83-80 victory over Sacramento in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Not only scoring and seemingly getting every rebound but also making the extra pass time and again to set up Sam elbow jumpers and Freddie corner 3's.