A Taste of Vegas

A Taste of Vegas

By Lindsey Young / Wolves Writer

From poker tables to champagne and fine dining, the Target Center was transformed into a miniature Las Vegas for the 2010 Taste of the Timberwolves on Sunday night.

The 14th annual celebration was presented by the Starkey Hearing Foundation and raised funds for the Fastbreak Foundation, which provides and supports hands-on programs that positively impact Minnesota youth.

"Our goal is to give back to the community, and we can't do that without raising the resources that we need on an annual basis for our programs. Our players are committed to helping us raise the funds that we need for those programs, so every single one of the players in some way, shape, or form is treating tonight as a way to give back to our community." - Wolves President Chris Wright

The Red Carpet
Following the Las Vegas theme, this year's Taste of the Timberwolves featured a red-carpet entrance complete with a Las Vegas backdrop. As guests arrived to the 2010 Taste, they instantly viewed 14 stations that included delicious food, drinks, and games. The booths surrounded a silent auction table with items that ranged from Timberwolves memorabilia to Shaquille O'Neal autographed jersey.

The Menu
508 - Steak Sandwich topped with bacon and bleu cheese

Cosmos - Chocolate Parfait

Crave (Table One) - Cooked Snow Crab

Crave (Table Two) - Mozzarella Caprese Skewers

Melting Pot - Chocolate Fountain and Dippers

Huberts - Chicken Penne Pasta and Tinga Chicken Crostina

OM - Cardamom Thai Chile Soup

Seven - Beef Tips with a Roquefort Sauce and Chef?s Treats

Wildfire - Wildfire Chopped Salad and Mini Key Lime Pies

Bacardi - Bacardi Dragon Berry Mojitos and Bombay Sapphire

Caribou - Black Coffee; Lattes; Cappuccinos with flavors: Caramel, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Sugar-Free Chocolate

Corona - Corona and Corona Light

Pepsi - Aquafina, Life Water, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist

"It's good. We get to see all the people that help us through the season, they give us a lot of support. It's nice here tonight; it looks a little different from when they have the court out there. You have all the memorabilia, you have the poker tables, the blackjack tables, so it's going to be a good night I think." - Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer

"You know, it's great. I really feel that the fans here are supporting us, they're going to be patient with us, they see a course in our actions, they understand that it's going to be a process and that we're going to move forward starting now and moving into next season. They see the potential; there's a lot of possibilities with the draft choices we have--hopefully we get that No. 1 and No. 2 slot--we have free agent money, we have a good core group of guys, and there's a lot of potential in this ballclub." - Timberwolves Head Coach Kurt Rambis

"I'm thinking I'm about to take these coaches' money in poker right now. But no, it's a good theme. We get to have some fun, play some cards, and interact with our season ticket holders and people who support us as Timberwolves, so it's always good to come out. As teammates we're going to go up there and play a Pyramid game and have some fun with that. So, it should be some comedy also." - Timberwolves Forward Ryan Gomes

The Winning Bid
Around 7 PM, the card tables wound down and the guests participated in a live auction. Timberwolves public address announcer Rod Johnson served as auctioneer, and the crowd soon engaged themselves in a lively bidding extravaganza for exciting items. The action only increased with the players in attendance, and teammates ensured bidders that the road trip with the Timberwolves would include a dinner out with Kevin Love. Love accepted, joking that other players would have to come along as part of the deal, which created fun and laughter for the entire crowd.

Feature Live Auction Items
Travel with the Timberwolves:
From April 10th-April 12th, two people will join the Timberwolves for a road trip experience on the team plane for a trip to New Orleans and San Antonio. This trip includes air travel, hotel for two nights and tickets to the Timberwolves games versus the Hornets and the Spurs.

Golf Outing with Pro Football Hall of Famer, John Randle:
Three individuals will join former Minnesota Viking John Randle for 18 holes of golf at beautiful Medina Golf and Country Club. Enjoy lunch and beverage service during the outing.

Trip to the NBA Draft:
The winner will attend the 2010 NBA Draft in New York City! The trip for two includes: flights to NYC, hotel accommodations for two nights and tickets to the NBA Draft.

Cook with the Wolves:
Ten guests will join Jonny Flynn and Corey Brewer for a fantastic evening of cooking at the Way Cool Cooking School in Eden Prairie. This could be a gourmet cooking party for adults or a kids cooking party for your children. Event will take place in October 2010.

"I think it's great. It always makes a difference when you invest your time. When the team invests their time, it makes you want to invest in them more. You get to see them a lot more, it definitely makes you want to renew every year, and come back, and it's also easy to donate money to something like this when you're getting to spend time with players but you also know you're getting the benefits of donation and the good things that the Fastbreak Foundation does." - Timberwolves Season Ticket Holder Jennifer Palmer

"It's always good. The fans and everybody want to see the players here, outside of the basketball court. They want to meet the person, not just a basketball player. So, at events like this where you can mingle and they get to see you on a personal level, that does a lot for them and does a lot for everybody." - Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flynn

This year, Timberwolves forward Damien Wilkins stepped up to emcee an intense three-round game of Pyramid. Season ticket holders are accustomed to seeing the player pairs compete on the Jumbotron and were excited to watch the live contest. "I would put my money on Jonny and Wayne," Jennifer Palmer commented prior to the contest. "I think they have that rookie connection, and they're probably the team to beat."

The Teams:

The Big Guys
Al Jefferson
Kevin Love

The Rookies
Jonny Flynn
Wayne Ellington

The Other Guys
Ryan Gomes
Corey Brewer

Round One
Question One - The Rookies:
Things Associated with Vegas
Although their opponents put up quite a fuss when they thought they heard Jonny say the word "poker," in giving clues, Wilkins judged no penalty and The Rookies got four of seven words.

Question Two - The Big Guys:
Things Associated with Spring
Big Al and K-Love immediately showed up the younger guys when they got five words associated with spring. Things started out quickly but came to a standstill when Jefferson was confused by Love's clues for "birds."

Question Three - The Other Guys
Things Associated with the Locker Room
Brewer and Gomes got hung up on the word "shower," and their opponents laughed as Gomes attempted to describe that it's a place where you use soap. The Other Guys finished Round One with 4 points.

Round Two
Question One - The Rookies
Things Associated with Winter
Jonny got Wayne to guess "sled" with his entertaining clue, "you go down a mountain in this," and the game was off. The dynamic duo finished Round Two with all seven words (Total Points: 11).

Question Two - The Big Guys
Things that Start with the Letter "T"
Despite a controversial clue for "teacher" that involved Love making a dig at Jefferson's jump from highschool to the NBA, the leading scorers for the Timberwolves still finished the game with five words. This score granted The Rookies guaranteed access to the final round. (Total Points: 10)

Question Three - The Other Guys
Things Associated with Airports
The Other Guys completed this round with lightning speed, sending the Big Guys packing. (Total Points: 11)

Championship Round
Question One - The Rookies
Things Associated with the State Fair
Jonny was afraid that they would be at a disadvantage for this question since he had never been to the State Fair, but the Rookies pulled it once again, barely beating the buzzer with a myriad of clues for "corn dog." (Total Points: 18)

Question Two - The Other Guys
Things Associated with the Olympics
Despite a valiant effort, Gomes and Brewer found themselves stuck on "shot put" and were forced to watch the time dwindle off the clock. (Total Points: 17).

Words from the Winners
"That was light. No effort involved, it's just what we do. We have that chemistry -- you see that on the court." - Jonny Flynn

Curtain Call:
All in all, this year's Las Vegas themed Taste event was a huge success. With over three hundred guests in attendance, the Fastbreak Foundation received huge amounts of support for their ongoing events and work in the community. Fans enjoyed their chance to mingle with the Timberwolves players and coaches, and countless individuals left for home with valuable prizes and team memorabilia.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jonah on Twitter.