Souhan: In case you forgot, Minneapolis is a basketball city

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Minneapolis, being located in Minnesota, is a city of Vikings, win, lose or choke.

Minneapolis is a fair-weather baseball city in a state that doesn’t experience much fair weather. Or playoff wins.

Minneapolis might be a soccer city, but the men’s pro soccer team is located in St. Paul and the new women’s soccer team will play in Eagan.

Minneapolis has largely ceded hockey to St. Paul and the suburbs.

What has always been clear is that Minneapolis was and should be a basketball city, an ideal host for the city game.

Today, this week, and for the past month, Minneapolis has become exactly that again.

The Timberwolves’ rise to prominence has led to sold-out sales for their upcoming home playoff games against the Memphis Grizzlies.

They won their playoff opener, 130-117 in Memphis on Saturday, and won the right way – a dramatic and landmark affair featuring three of the league’s best young players: Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaden McDaniels. .

After decades of angst, Timberwolves fans are enjoying the sweetest side of fandom: watching young talent blossom.

Wolves sold out Games 3 and 4 of the series Thursday and Saturday at Target Center and will be certain to sell out all home games as long as their playoffs last.

Anthony Edwards’ talent and joyous acting are discovered by the national media.

Towns loses his reputation as a statistical hoarder who can’t win.

Chris Finch is becoming that coach who should have been considered coach of the year.

The Timberwolves are no longer a running joke.

As he prepares to finalize the sale of his franchises, Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor finally has what he’s always wanted: a basketball facility housing two well-run teams.

The Lynx have kicked off training camp, a reminder that they’ve been the best franchise in town for a dozen years. They are expected to extend their WNBA record of consecutive playoff seasons to 11 this season.

They will also spend the summer celebrating the final season of center Sylvia Fowles, one of the best players in league history.

Wolves’ rise to prominence is hot on the heels of Minneapolis selling out both sessions of the Women’s Final Four and hosting practices for the USA team, which is coached by Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve.

This Final Four featured UConn star Paige Bueckers of Hopkins, who grew up with a poster of Gophers coach and former star Lindsay Whalen on her bedroom wall and is symbolic of Minnesota’s prep talent boom. .

During the Final Four, Whalen, the greatest basketball player in Minnesota history, was told she would be inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame.

LSU will honor former Lynx star Seimone Augustus with a statue outside their arena, to accompany those honoring Pete Maravich, Bob Pettit and Shaquille O’Neal. There should probably be statues of all the great Lynx somewhere around Target Center.

Gophers coach Ben Johnson on Monday landed former Prior Lake star Dawson Garcia, who is leaving North Carolina through the transfer portal. Garcia becomes one of the top prospects to sign with the Gophers and will join Jamison Battle, a star Johnson landed on the transfer portal last year.

Whalen’s team has been damaged by the transfer portal, but it landed former Minnesota prospect Destinee Oberg on Monday, a transfer from Arkansas, and is months away from welcoming the league’s top recruiting class. history of Gophers basketball. The class includes Battle’s sister, Amaya.

Wolves’ long dormancy has resulted in Minneapolis being considered a poor place to base a basketball team. This season served as a reminder that Wolves fans were simply waiting for something worthy of their cheers.

This edition of the Timberwolves is talented, likeable, deep, well-drilled and relentlessly entertaining. They also have a chance to beat a No. 2 seed in a playoff.

Basketball is once again the talk of our town, and the conversation is good.

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