There are those of us who follow the NBA as our preferred form of wintertime sports entertainment, although not to the point we find it to be a religious experience.
Which means, you can be at a Timberwolves contest on a March night in 2023 and watch Nickeil Alexander-Walker enter for the home team and ask someone with true fervor:
"What do we know about this guy?"
Beyond the basics, of course, that he was a throw-in from Utah along with Mike Conley in the three-sided deal in mid-February that allowed the Timberwolves, mercifully, to get rid of D'Angelo Russell.
It was addition by subtraction, but the addition was pretty good: Conley, now 37, but a true point guard.
As for "this guy," Alexander-Walker, 6-foot-5, and ... mostly an off guard? Wolves coach Chris Finch was an assistant coach with New Orleans when Nickeil was arriving in the NBA, and he saw some potential back then, so he had that recommendation.
Not only that, he's a cousin to Oklahoma City's tremendous Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, so significant NBA-level talent could run in the family.
Eight months later, that appears to be the case.
On Thursday night at Target Center, the former throw-in was a necessity as the Wolves were playing without Anthony Edwards, as well as Jaden McDaniels.
Alexander-Walker replaced both — Edwards' offense and McDaniels' defense — and the Wolves wrapped up a historic month with a 101-90 victory over Nickeil's prior team, Utah.
Historic? Sort of.
According to OptaSTATS, which apparently specializes in stuff like this, the Wolves' 13-2 record (.867) in November was the best month ever for an NBA or NHL team or the Twins in Minnesota's major league history.
The Minneapolis Lakers — winners of five NBA titles (and another in the NBL) — had 13-3 records (.813) in consecutive Januarys: 1950 and 1951.
The stats site also gives the Wild credit for Minnesota's top hockey month, but that's distorted by the NHL marketing scam that doesn't put an overtime loss in the loss column.
The Wild were 12-2-2 (.813) in points in April 2022, but 12-4 (.750) in actual wins-losses.
The best month ever for the Twins was 22-6 (.786) in June 1991, a season that ended with a second World Series title.
And if you're among the cynics who want to point out that the Wolves' reached 13 wins in November vs. a Jazz team that appears to be joining a handful of NBA tankers, remember this:
Twice in their history, the Wolves have won 15 games in full seasons. And as recently as 2014-15, they were 16-66.
Congratulations, Nickeil — you got us to 13 wins in a month!
Alexander-Walker's line was sensational: 36 minutes, 20 points (4-for-8 on threes), seven assists, five steals and two blocked shots, plus he took four charging fouls.
The media crowd in the postgame locker room descended on the 25-year-old Canadian. There were questions about all areas of his game, and then he was asked if he ever felt as "important" to a team in four previous NBA seasons.
He paused to make sure an answer didn't sound like braggadocio and said:
"Honestly, probably not, no. I don't think I've had a role — maybe give or take New Orleans, but the situation was tough … new coaches every year. I feel definitely, my role here has allowed me to feel confident."
There was a sequence in the middle of the third quarter, as the Wolves were tearing up the Jazz with defense, when Alexander-Walker had a steal, assisted on a Conley three, got out running after a Conley steal and then:
Rather than going for the layup as he reached the basket, he passed behind his back to Karl-Anthony Towns for a running dunk. Crowd roared, KAT smiled large on his way to 32 points.
A lot of us were worried about KAT and Rudy Gobert being able to play together, Nickeil. It seems to be working?
"The concern came from people outside of here,'' Alexander-Walker said. "We were never worried about what Rudy is capable of, controlling the glass night in and night out with KAT. We just stayed together and only worried about controlling what we can control."
People outside the organization wondering what new basketball boss Tim Connelly could have been thinking when he made the Gobert trade before last season? People questioning if Finch, KAT and Gobert would be able to figure it out?
Guilty. And then some. Thirteen-and-2 in November. Knock me over with a feather.