67RIEFNS No. 61: Timberwolves as Canada’s other team

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The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

Technically, with the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Huskies long gone, the NBA has only one Canadian team – the Toronto Raptors.

But the Great White North has an honorary representative – the Minnesota Timberwolves.

With Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the Timberwolves will tie an NBA record for Canadians on the roster. Sure, the Celtics (Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell) and Lakers (Steve Nash and Robert Sacre) will also match the mark held by six other teams, but the Celtics and Lakers have rich and defining histories.

The Timberwolves are desperately seeking an identity other than “the team a really good player named Kevin is leaving.” How about “Canada’s other team”?

As Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports articulated, Vince Carter made Canadian basketball cool, and the generation that grew up watching him is now reaching the NBA. Bringing their own swagger, the Canadians – a record 12 this season – are ready to make their mark.

There’s no better place than Minnesota.

Wiggins and Bennett were the last two No. 1 picks, and they ooze potential. Bennett has improved since a disastrous rookie season, and Wiggins looks like a star in the making. Wiggins is Minnesota’s most-valuable piece, and if Bennett comes around, that would go a long way in the Timberwolves establishing a Canadian identity.

Zach LaVine is from Washington, but his dunks come as close to resembling Carter’s as anyone else’s today. The Timberwolves are even producing Canadian-basketball nostalgia by using an American.

This just feels right. Considering its Northern location and similar weather and culture, Minnesota is America’s Canada. Within the NBA, the Timberwolves are ready for dual citizenship.