Wolves radio announcer Alan Horton’s call of the final moments of the Wolves’ loss to Dallas on Monday has gone viral.
If was entertaining, to say the least, to hear Horton describe the final seconds of the game, when Shawn Marion appeared to foul Kevin Love at the end of the Wolves’ 100-98 loss. Horton, on WCCO-AM, described the play. Then, as he watched the replay, he yelled, “Oh, that’s a foul!’’ And, moments later, Horton yelled, “OH, ED MALLOY!’ when he saw the official who chose not to make the call.
Tuesday the league issued a release saying a foul should have been called.
By that time, Horton’s call was all over the Web. Deadspin’s Tom Ley called it a “wonderful conniption fit.” On Yahoo, writer Dan Devine said, “That’s some goooood righteous indignation, right there.”
Many agree. “I’ve gotten more of a response than any other call in my seven years here,” Horton said before Wednesday’s Wolves-New Orleans game. “From fans, through Twitter mostly. They enjoyed hearing it, they were pumped up by it, they thought I summed up how they were feeling, which I take as a pretty good compliment.’’
Horton’s call carried so much weight because of the evenhanded way he calls games.
“I think, overall, I was pleased with the call,” he said. “You know where I sit [at the top of the lower bowl]. From my vantage point I always try to give the play by play without injecting too much opinion until I get a chance to see a replay. Once I saw the replay, I think you could hear how I felt about what had happened.’’
What happened was Horton found his way all over the Internet. “I’ve never experienced anything like that,” he said. “It’s been incredible.’’
After Monday’s loss to Dallas, one in which the Wolves bench managed just five points, Love demanded more. Five points is not OK, he said.
OK, then. How about 42?
Wednesday, the Wolves reserves finished with 42 points, shot a combined 66.7 percent and hit on five of 10 three-pointers. J.J. Barea had 17 points, Dante Cunningham and Alexey Shved 10 each. The three combined to shoot 14-for-19.
“I don’t like it,” said Barea of Love’s comments. “I’m not going to comment a lot on that, but I definitely don’t like it. But I think it’s good the bench heard it, and we played good tonight. It’s something we need to keep doing the rest of the season.”
To Love, it was a case of tough, well, love.
“It wasn’t me being down on them, it was me asking for more,” Love said. “Because we’re going to need them in 2014. It was, more than anything, a challenge. I wasn’t [upset] with them. It was tough love, and sometimes that’s the best way to do things.”
It worked Wednesday, with the bench coming within three points of its season high of 45 points.
“I mentioned that after the game to ’em, it was awesome,” Love said. “I was up on the bench almost the whole fourth quarter.”
Love led the league in scoring (30.0) and was third in the league in rebounding (13.7) for the month of December. It was the second time in his career Love averaged 30 points in a calendar month, the other being March 2012 (30.7).
Love also averaged 4.2 assists in his 12 December games.