If nothing else, the Minnesota Timberwolves should be a little more physical this year. Maybe even dirty. They will get under the other team’s skin.
Rambis, the former Lakers player and assistant coach, was hired away to be the headman. We all remember Rambis as the player with the Clark Kent glasses who did all the dirty work so Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy could look pretty in the 1980s. He was the guy that got Kevin McHale angry enough to clothesline him in the 1984 NBA Finals.
And this week Rambis hired Laimbeer, the ultimate Detroit Bad Boy, to be his assistant coach. Laimbeer, the guy who would hack you to the ground on defense and then complain about the call, where on offense he would flop looking for the call and complain when he didn't get it. The name Laimbeer might define “thug” in the NBA dictionary, overshadowing the fact he had a really effective jump shot that stretched out defenses.
Now Al Jefferson and Kevin Love — two talented but somewhat undersized big men — will learn from the masters first hand. There may be more flying elbows at a Timberwolves game than on WWE Monday Night Raw.
Rounding out the staff is Coach Bill Fuller from NBC’s “Hang Time.” Also known as Reggie Theus. He proved the last couple of years in Sacramento he was not ready to be an NBA head coach (although he was in a tough situation) but if nothing else he should be the best dressed Minnesota coach.
That’s quite a collection — two thugs and a pretty boy. They should be able to coach: Rambis spent years at the side Phil Jackson learning how to speak without really saying much; Laimbeer led the Detroit Shock to three WNBA titles; and Theus now knows what it is like first hand to work in a struggling NBA market.
But seriously, Rambis and Laimbeer next to each other on the bench? Becoming friends? Maybe we’re still stuck in the 1980s, but we want those guys to hate each other and everyone to hate them.
And if there are a couple straight rough seasons in Minnesota, we may get our wish.