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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:24 PM ET
No. 83: Minnesota Timberwolves

By Ross Marrinson
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 71
Title track: 109
Ownership: 90
Coaching: 38
Players: 85
Fan relations: 90
Affordability: 36
Stadium Experience 104
Bang for the Buck 71

Another year, another step in the long quest for relevance in Minnesota. Last season's culprit was injuries, as the Wolves' three best players -- Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio -- missed a combined 109 games. The team fell 12 spots to 83rd overall and dropped slightly in eight of the nine categories, but it's still inexpensive to go (at $34.80 per ticket, it's 32 percent cheaper than the NBA average), leading to a solid 36th in affordability, and the fans respect Rick Adelman (38th in coaching). Faint praise, sure, but this is Minnesota, one of the most dysfunctional franchises in NBA history. With former coach Flip Saunders replacing David Kahn as GM (imagine next year's owner rating!), and with incoming players Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer, the re-signing of Nikola Pekovic and a healthy Love and Rubio, things, believe it or not, could finally start to make sense in the Target Center for the first time in years. There's a direction in town, or at least the semblance of one, which for fans is sorely needed. The last time the Wolves faithful were able to see a playoff game live in-state was in 2004, making it nine straight seasons the Wolves have missed the playoffs and the NBA's longest active streak of its kind. The quest for relevance continues.