NBA commissioner David Stern's mention last week of the C word -- contraction -- unnerved at least some Timberwolves fans, judging anecdotally from fans who've emailed and messaged me.
So I asked Wolves owner Glen Taylor before tonight's season opener if those fans have anything to worry about with their team being contracted, if it ever really because anything more than a labor negotiating point.
"Oh, I can say that Minnesota is not one of the teams that would be contracted, nor do we expect that in the future," Taylor said, seeming a bit surprised by the question.
He said contraction was an issue talked about by owners at the league's regular Board of Governors meeting recently. Taylor is chairman of the Board of Governors.
"We have a serious problem that we have to make the league more profitable," Taylor said. "I don't think that's the preference that we do that (contraction), but I think what David says is we're going to talk about the things with the union. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that.
"At our board meeting, we talked about all the things we should talk about and we talked about that. Nothing in particular. We don't have names of teams or anything like that."
Taylor said most teams would not be interested in the concept.
"First of all, you'd have to find an owner who would want to do it and I know, just because I'm chairman of the board, most teams would not want to do that. They feel like I do: They're involved in their community, their state and that's very, very important to them. ..
I can tell you we don't have somebody lined up like baseball did that year, when they talked about the Twins. We' re not in that situation nor do we hope that would happen."