We spent some time this afternoon at the Minnesota Associated Press Sports Association's annual meeting, where one of the sessions featured Timberwolves President Chris Wright. Maybe we're more interested in the marketing side of sports than the average guy, but we were interested in some of his comments about how the team will try to market its group of young players. Here are a few excerpts from what Wright had to say:


Kevin Garnett became the brand of the Timberwolves, and that's wrong. Then you're putting players before the team. It's important that Kevin Garnett be branded when he's part of it. But he can't be the brand.

I love Kevin Love. What he does for us on the court and off the court is absolutely remarkable, and he knows I think that way about him. Ricky Rubio can be that. Michael Beasley is his own guy. Wes Johnson is a prince on and off the court. So we have some really great pieces. But we can never let one of those guys become that guy again. Our brand has to encompass a group of guys who hunt and play as a team and as a pack. Then we have to decide how we're going to market that. But will we take advantage of Kevin, Rubio and Derrick Williams? Yes we will. It was so easy to market Kevin Love last year. ... But you have to be so incredibly careful around one player becoming "it" for that franchise.

A lot of people in the NBA disagree. The NBA is all about branding star players. And the league has been built around that. But I'm not sure it really worked in Minnesota. I think Minnesota fans want team-first, they want lunch bucket, they want blue-collar workers, they want somebody to go out and work very, very hard in front of them whether they win or lose. Winning is important in the state of Minnesota, but I honestly believe it's not everything. Yeah, they want a champion. They want a championship as much as anybody. But what they don't want to see is laziness.


Your thoughts on that plan/philosophy in the comments, if you care.

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