Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, where at this advancing age even raking leaves can cause general soreness. Let’s get to it:
*The Wolves’ 128-125 victory over the Jazz was memorable on many levels because the whole day Wednesday was unusual on so many levels. Mix Halloween with the Jimmy Butler saga, his absence for general soreness, two other key Wolves being out with injuries, and you have some ingredients that mixed together in an interesting way.
Butler missed the game to rest and because of what was termed “general soreness.” His side can try to spin it however they want. The Wolves can try to spin it however they want. A guy missing the eighth game of the season and third of a home stand with an off day before and after … that’s not business as usual – even if Butler had a knee injury last year and even if he missed most of training camp (which by the way means his absence Wednesday, however you explain it, is a mess of he and the Wolves’ making).
It’s been covered extensively, so let’s just leave this right here for some comic relief: The top of the FSN broadcast featured analyst Jim Petersen so overcome with laughter at the prospect of Butler missing the game with general soreness that he had a hard time collecting himself for several seconds.
Butler’s agent, Bernie Lee, did not seem impressed. He tweeted that he thought Petersen was “trying to go viral.” Lee’s top client is having no problem generating headlines by himself.
*It took a lot to overcome that buildup and somehow take the focus off Butler, but Derrick Rose was more than up to the task.
Rose has been good all season – part of a second unit that in many stretches has been just as good (if not better) than the starting five – and thrust into huge minutes because both starter Jeff Teague and backup Tyus Jones were injured, Rose dropped 50 on the Jazz.
He did it with a mix of fearless drives, midrange jumpers, floaters and threes. We are all supposed to set the clocks back an hour this weekend. Rose, the former league MVP whose on-court career has been beset by injuries, set the clocks back about seven years on Wednesday.
Teague took everyone behind the scenes by posting a video of the locker room celebration.
*By the way, it was also mentioned on the FSN broadcast that the Wolves were playing at home on Halloween for the first time since 1997. I can tell you exactly where I was that night: at Target Center, where the Wolves beat the Warriors 129-113.
My friend Rocket and I had partial season tickets that year as part of a dirt cheap student package. We were also dressed in full dress suits, clown wigs and had painted “Vikings owners” across our faces because, you see, Vikings ownership was behaving like clowns. We were walking hot takes.
I’m forever grateful Twitter did not exist back then. There would be photos.