The Minnesota Timberwolves joined the National Basketball Association in 1989 as an expansion team. The team did not have great success from the beginning, managing just a 22-60 record, but they did set an NBA record for attendance, drawing more than a million fans in their opening season. This included the 3rd largest crowd in NBA History in their final home game of the season.The team had been playing the Metrodome, the home of the Minnesota Twins, but later moved to the Target Center, their current home. The team did not manage to find much success in their early years. They had a few notable players on their team, but they never managed to find success.The tides turned for the Timberwolves in the 1995 draft. Although today we see players entering the NBA on a regular basis, it was not all too common in 1995. The Timberwolves saw the potential of an 18 year old power forward named Kevin Garnett. Garnett was a raw, young talent but he managed to pull down more than 10 rebounds a game in his rookie season.The Timberwolves managed to add another piece to the puzzle the following year by adding Stephon Marbury. Marbury was added in a trade sending Ray Allen to the Milwaukee Bucks. The combination of Marbury and Garnett became a popular one among fans. Add in Tom Gugliotta and the team was headed towards their first playoff appearance.The team finished that season with a 40-42 record, but they did make the playoffs. Their appearance did not last long.
They were quickly eliminated by the Houston Rockets in a 3-game sweep. This was the beginning of a solid run for the Timberwolves.The Timberwolves saw their young talent grow as Garnett and Marbury made their presence felt on the court. Even with Tom Gugliotta out for with an injury the team finished with a record of 45-37. This was the best record in their team's history and helped them earn another playoff berth. The team collected their first playoff victory in 1997, but they were unable to overcome the Supersonics, losing in 5 games in the opening round.The ego of Stephon Marbury could not coexist with Kevin Garnett's presence. Garnett received an enormous contract causing jealousy on the team. Marbury forced a trade and ended up in New Jersey. The team picked up Terrell Brandon and a 4th round pick. Even with the absence of Marbury they team made the playoffs yet again.The team signed Joe Smith, an up and coming power forward, but paid heavily for it. Their dealings with Smith were against league policy and they were stripped of their first round pick for 5 straight years. The contract with Joe Smith was also void.The Timberwolves became a perennial playoff team led by Kevin Garnett, but they could not take their game to the next level. They continued to make the playoffs, but over and over again were eliminated in the playoffs in the first round. The team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for 7 straight seasons.The team's fortunes changed in 2004. The team won their division and managed to get out of the first round for the first time in team history. Their run went all the way to the Western Conference finals where they met the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers took out the Timberwolves, ending the most successful season in the franchise's history.After a few seasons it was clear that their team wasn't going anywhere. Kevin Garnett had carried their team for more than a decade and was ready to move on, asking for a trade. The team traded Garnett and began their rebuilding stage, where they currently sit. The team has some young talent, but does not look ready to contend the in the strong Western Conference just yet.