MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves start a highly-anticipated 2021-22 season Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Target Center.
The Wolves are healthy, bring back 11 players from last year’s roster and start with seven of their first eight games at home. That’s despite a somewhat rocky training camp, sparked by the firing of front office had Gersson Rosas, and Sachin Gupta taking over as Glen Taylor transitions franchise ownership to Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore.
Timberwolves’ stars D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns each spoke this week about their mindset coming into the season. Russell said he wants to "Kill everything that’s in front of me."
Towns said his mindset is dominance in all phases of basketball. So what does he do to get ready for games? He watches videos of two gorillas fight. He says he got the inspiration from Kobe Bryant, who used to listen to Halloween music before games.
"I’m thinking every night I’m a gorilla in the jungle and I’ve got to kill anyone, stop anyone who tries to get in my way. Pure domination," Towns said. "I know Kobe had talked about that he listened to Halloween music before every game and that would get him going. For me, I’ve just been watching two gorillas fight before every game. I’m addicted to that. I’m watching gorillas fight all day, because I know at the end of the day if I’m a gorilla in that video, I’m leaving out alive. Someone has got to die, and it ain’t going to be me."
Towns is more than ready to wipe the slate clean for the 2021-22 season. He spent last year enduring a wrist injury, his own battle with COVID-19 and losing his mother to the virus, among as many as eight family members.
He’s got a new head coach in Chris Finch, a new front office head in Gupta and soon-to-be new owners in Rodriguez and Lore. All he can control is producing on the court, and leading the Timberwolves to wins. The Timberwolves have made the playoffs once since getting to the Western Conference Finals with Kevin Garnett in 2004.