NBA Legend Jerry West Gushes Over Timberwolves; Loves Them in Playoffs

Minnesota Timberwolves
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season, maintaining one of the top records from start to finish. With the NBA playoffs imminent, one all-time legend believes Minnesota is poised to make a deep run in the Western Conference.

When the Timberwolves got off to a hot start, plenty around the NBA thought regression was around the corner. Instead, the Wolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder each won 56 games and sat atop the Western Conference standings heading into the weekend.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves standings (ESPN): 56-25, 2nd in Western Conference

Despite sitting near the top of the NBA standings all season, there has remained plenty of skepticism outside of Minnesota. Most NBA playoff projections have teams like the Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets advancing further than Minnesota. However, not everyone shares that opinion.

Can the Minnesota Timberwolves win the championship?

On the Jaxxon Podcast, Hall of Fame Los Angeles Lakers legend (and Minneapolis Lakers draft pick) Jerry West expressed his strong opinion on the Timberwolves. While he already had a high opinion of the team, seeing them in person led him to the belief that Minnesota has everything needed to reach the NBA Finals and win a championship.

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“We played, last night, Minnesota. They just destroyed the Clippers. Sitting there watching that game, I said to myself, ‘Hmm, ok, these guys need a break number one.’ You don’t want to rush to judgment on what you think…They are really, really good in both ends of the court. They’re smart, they play hard. They’re one of the most dangerous teams in the league to win a championship.

Jerry West on the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Minnesota Timberwolves stats (Basketball Reference): .485% FG (10th in NBA), 38.7% 3PT (3rd in NBA), 6.1 blocks per game (6th in NBA), 7.9 steals per game (6th in NBA), 106.3 PPG allowed (1st in NBA)

West certainly knows what it takes to win the NBA Finals. The two-time NBA Executive of the Year won eight NBA championships as an executive from 1980 through 2017 and he also won the NBA Finals in 1972 and was 1969 NBA Finals MVP.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves bench stats: 32.2 points per game, 4.4 3PM per game, 9.7 assists per game

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The NBA legend credited the Wolves’ front office for committing to its talent evaluation process and making moves it believed in, even if many around the league criticized the trades. He also highlighted the Timberwolves’ bench ahead of the playoffs.

“When they go to their bench, they don’t get killed when they go to their bench. They’ve done a great job putting a team together.”

Jerry West on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ bench

Many around the NBA are still skeptical of the Timberwolves’ championship potential, but all it takes is one run to change that. The Denver Nuggets are the perfect example of a championship-caliber team that faced plenty of criticism until it won the NBA Finals. If the Wolves dethrone the reigning champions, the entire narrative around Minnesota’s NBA team will change dramatically in a matter of weeks.

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