Choose Your Own Adventure: Firing Randy Wittman

Wolves fans can only dream…

With the Timberwolves starting the season at an underwhelming 1-8, the TWolves Blog Forum faithful have resorted to creating fantasy tales involving the much-needed front office shake-up that we all know will never come.  Below, you will find a compilation of our latest group-effort entitled, “Firing Randy Wittman”.  This story, however, is not your typical work of fiction.  It was told in the classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” format, where one forum poster would write a bit of the tale and then leave the group with a decision to make.  One by one, we all took turns until we wove our story to its shocking and dramatic climax.   For your enjoyment and ease of reading, the entire satire has been turned into a front-page post.  I will warn you that it’s a bit lengthy, so you might want to print and save this one for the bus-ride home or your mid-day trip to the corner stall.  Without further ado, TWolves Blog proudly brings to you…

Choose Your Own Adventure:  Firing Randy Wittman
The Story of how a moribund franchise tried to pull itself back from the abyss.
You rub your temples. As the GM of the team your were sure this year was supposed to be different. Last year you went through hell with a roster of half young guys, half deadbeats with bloated contracts. This year through your genius the glut was cleared… the young guys were ready. This team was going to stay in the playoff hunt at least until the all-star break.

It hasn’t happened. You’ve lost and you’ve done it to bad teams. The owner, Glen Taylor, has called an emergency meeting in 15 minutes because he can’t stand this.

If you decide that whatever solutions you can come up with in the next 14 minutes aren’t going to be good enough so you email up an excuse to push the meeting back while you think turn to Page 15.

If you have a plan and you can’t wait to deliver it turn to Page 117.

Page 15

Utilizing your self-termed “Small Area Quickness”, you quickly scoot from your in-office trophy case and sit at your refurbished Compaq laptop. Clutching an Aquafina water, you type to Glen Taylor that you have to sit in on a conference call with divisional general managers and cannot meet until 3:00 PM which is 4 hours from now. “Safe at last” you whisper to yourself.

Suddenly feeling your morning Starbucks and Fiber One bar kick in, you get the urgency to toss a loaf. Again, mentally appreciating your innate small area quickness, you walk hastily to the men’s room. Before you go, wanting to brush up on history, you grab the 1993 Minnesota DNR Hunting and Fishing Regulation Handbook and tuck it under your arm snug against your brand new Eddie Bauer sweater. Approaching the bowl and quickly rounding the corner, you nearly run smack into Fred Hoiberg who has a hurried expression on his face. Confused and prairie-doggin’ it, you are flabbergasted at how to react in this situation.

If you want to hold it in and, with your extra time before your meeting with Glen Taylor, invite Fred to NBA City for a quick “Fast Break Lunch”- turn to page 21

To give Fred a 2 fingered wave and go about your “business,” turn to page 67

Page 67

Making it to the fortress of solitude before dead eye Freddie was the coup of the day. Fred will now be forced to put a “out of order sign” on the ladies room. The last time Fred had a date with fate this badly was when he was riding the elevator after draft day. He still doesn’t remember what he said to the reporters!  As the better part of your personality departs from your body, you try to come up with a strategy to convince the fans you can turn this ship around…

Suddenly, without warning, the automatic aresol room deoderizor goes off waking you from a hard nap. What? It’s 2:30 already and you barely have time to wash up and get to the meeting.

If you want to look into the toilet for inspiration for you next brilliant front-office move turn to page 63.

If you want to tap your foot on the wall between your restroom and the ladies room Fred is in turn to page 107

Page 63

You stare long and hard into the mystical Oracle’s cup, and whether by folly or ny fancy, brilliant ideas are suddenly popping into your head. “Trade Rashad McCants.” “Need a Defensive Center.” “Play Kevin Love 30+ minutes per night.” “Trade for Gerald Wallace.” “Tank the season, win the lottery, and draft Ricky Rubio.” You continue to gaze at the brownish-greenish concoction, and before long you know what you must do to achieve victory tomorrow night. Your number two is speaking to you! Start Telfair/Brewer/Gomes/Big AL/Maddog. You know that lineup will be able to score and play defense. Even better, your reserves can come in as instant offense, and never let off the clutch. McFoye at the guard positions, Skinny Miller at SF, Love at PF, and someone else at Center. (You don’t know who our backup center is yet, but you realize 9 out of 10 positions ain’t bad.)

Suddenly beaming with confidence and ready to meet with Taylor, you turn to open the door… and it won’t budge! Oh no?!? You are going to be late for the meeting! Glen is going to think you skipped it and he’ll never believe your excuse! It’s 2:59 PM. Now what do you do?

If you pound on the door until someone finally lets you out, and then you hustle to Taylor’s office to meet with him (but you are late), turn to page 12.

If you pound on the door until someone finally lets you out, and then call Taylor with an excuse to FURTHER delay the meeting while you think of a valid excuse and/or other options for tomorrow, turn to page 90.

If you dejectedly stay in the bathroom until someone comes to find you, turn to page 54.
Page 54

As you slump back on the cold, unforgiving porcelain, you think of three things. The first that Glen’s panties will be throughly bunched when you don’t show up for this meeting, the second is that you’re as good as fired, and the third is that it really sucks when you sit down on a toilet with the seat up.

Having your undercarriage throughly soaked kick starts the cogs in your brain. You pull out the dog whistle you keep in the secret pocket you have sewn into all your sweaters and blow as hard as you can.

Freddie pops his head in the door. “What can I do ya for boss.”

Your free… and yet you aren’t free. The death march to the boss’s office begins. You with wet pants, Fred with stinky pants. (He hadn’t wiped, pre-whistle.)  It is now time to lay it on the line.

If you lead the meeting with “Tank for Rubio” go to Page 32

If you lead the meeting with “Trade for Gerald Wallace” go to Page 93

If you pull something else out of your soaked behind go page 2

Page 2
Finally having run out of excuses for dealying the meeting, you and Fred walk through the swinging bar doors of Glen’s office. You notice a Dekalb Feeds clock on the will above Glens desk. It only has a minute hand on it. Behind his desk is a large chart with a graph on it that looks like a lightning strike in Hibbing. On Glen’s desk is a hardbound copy of ” The Blueprint for the Future.” Glen is sitting with one hand under his chin and the other on top of his head. You have no idea why.

“What is that awful smell”? Glen asks as you and Fred stand sheepishly in front of him.

“Global warming” Fred replies, saying the first thing that pops into his head.

“Why is your butt wet”? he suddenly asks you

“New deoderant” you reply in you best authoritive voice as if explaining the obvious. “My pits are completely dry, though.”

If you wish to continue by explaining your revised plan in your fast rambling midwestern accent, repeating the same thoughts over and over again in different ways turn to page 67

If Fred begins talking first turn to page 95

If you all 3 decide to go to “Keys” for omelets turn to page 102

Page 67

Glen looks you in the eye saying, “What happened?”

You and Fred shoot each other knowing glances. In-sync you say, “Wittman” and Fred says “McHa—Wittman–yeah-Wittman”.

Glen asks you if you are saying you have it in your mind to revoke Wittman’s country club membership. With a heavy heart you say, “yes”.

You can feel a bead of sweat rolling from your head to your back to your soggy pantalones. The owner isn’t saying anything, he is just sitting at his desk glaring both you and Fred down.

If you excuse yourself by saying you are off to grab a Chicken Pot Pie at Peter’s Grill with Mitt Romney and Rashad McCants turn to page 113.

If you decide to tell Glen who he should hire as his next coach turn to page 115.

Page 115

Time seems to stand still as Glen stares you down. For a moment, you contemplate whether he’s thinking up ways to fire you or just admiring your latest sweater from the Bill Cosby collection. Your mind then wanders to this past June when you acquired your snazzy threads. When Pat Riley offered you two bad second-round picks plus a sweater for Mario Chalmers, there was no way you could pass on that deal. Who cares if your team desperately needed a point guard and Super Mario happened to run the point on an NCAA championship team? You’re feeling nice and toasty right now!

You quickly snap back to reality when you notice that the vein in Glen Taylor’s forehead is pulsating uncontrollably and that his teeth are clenched in a death-snarl. You realize that if you don’t say something within the next two seconds you’re as good as fired. You hate to throw yet another colleague under the bus, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

“I was thinking Freddy should take over as coach. The fans love him, he was a player himself not that long ago, and he’s our team’s last link to the days when our franchise wasn’t a complete joke”.

Before you can pat yourself on the back for simultaneously filling the coaching void and getting rid of the person in line to succeed you, Fred interjects.

“No can do. Doctor said the ol’ ticker won’t take that kind of stress. I’m medically limited to the front office.”

Glen shakes his head in frustration and once again turns to you. You can tell his patience is wearing thin and you may only have one more chance to get this right before he simply cans you along with Randy. As you fumble for the right words, the vision you saw earlier in the porcelain throne inspires you. Without thinking, you blurt out the words “Jeff VanGundy!”

The snarl on Taylor’s face turns to a look of utter disbelief.

“Kevin, we’re still paying Dwane Casey to coach this team and if we fire Dim-Wittman, we’ll be paying him too! Do you honestly expect me to add a third head coach to this payroll? How do you expect me to pay for this?”

If you suggest a “Pay the Coach” promotion, in which fans purchasing lower-level season tickets only pay one dollar per game for every fired coach still on the payroll, turn to page 39.

If you decided to put your name out as a coaching candidate since you’re already on the payroll, turn to page 81.

If you think you can talk Flip Saunders into coming back for free since you already paid him two years salary for doing nothing after you fired him, turn to page 105.

Page 105

They say the world is full of coincidences. They swim around in air, waiting to be found, discovered, or, more likely, to shock. One of them just hit you with a force so fierce that you couldn’t help but use it against the cruel world that surrounds you.

“Flip!”, came the shocking exclamation! Taylor frowned, obviously, but there was no way to go back this time, the word has been said.

“I just talked to him two weeks ago and he was pretty desperate to return to the league! He said he wished he had so many nice guys on the team like Miller, Ollie, and Carney. He almost cried into my ear how whiney and commanding ‘Sheed was. He felt totally owned by his own players. He said last time he felt that way was when Spree’s kids were hungry.”

Turning to Freddie you could only read “You lying bastard” out of his sloppy lip-sync. Yes, despite the obvious success of your total BS, there were still snakes in the room. Turning your head towards Taylor, you focus your inner eye on Freddie.

“Now it’s your job to convince him to actually coach this lame team, Mr. Assistant GM”

Freddie was pummelled by your statement. Head-shot, you thought. Leaving Freddie flabbergasted, you decide to use this chance as much as you can. Another opportunity might never come.

“Glen, as Vice-President of Basketball Ops I’d like to continue my hot streak…

The sweater never felt so good.

If you’d like to trade for Gerald Wallace, turn to page 144

If you’d like to hire an army of lawyers to get our pick from the Clippers back (US law prohibits sucky teams owning others’ picks), turn to page 36

If you feel like BS-ing through, and ending up with a McCants-for-Felton steal (or a possible Olivier Miller signing), turn to page 141

Page 144

“Why do I feel like I’m not in control”? Taylor quipps.

“Because your’e not” Fred sadly informs him

“Who is then”? Taylor askes, gesticulating wildly with one hand while keep the other firmly on the top on his head.

“The guys over at Twolves Blog” Fred replies, sadly revealing the truth.

For the first time in your life your sweater begins to itch. In fact it begins itching so badly you franticly try to rip it off over your head only to get it stuck half way off rendering the use of your arms and sight useless. You begin running around in circles moaning uncontrolably.

“You see” Fred continues,”because of a forum game they made up, our future is at the whim of a bunch of watercooler jockeys trying to be creative.”

You then run smack dab into Glen’s aquarium knocking it over and spewing neon tetras all over the floor. The result of your sweater becoming wet and stretched enables you to finally remove it completely, revealing a T shirt that says “one in the oven” on the front with an arrow pointing down.

“Gerald Wallace!” You scream at the top of your voice. “Gerald Wallace!”

“What”? Fred and Glen say in almost perfect harmony.

“Let’s trade Rashad McCants for Gerald Wallace!” You blurt emphatically.

If you want to further pursue trading for Gerald Wallace, turn to page 1009

If you get directed back to the subject of Wittman, turn to page 95

If you want to pursue moving the franchise to Vegas, turn to page 106

Page 1009

“Gerald Wallace would be perfect!” you shout, finally regaining balance and composure after a rough fight with the tetras. Your sweater is ruined, and you have no idea what to do.

Taylor and Hoiberg seemingly stare in awe at your t-shirt, but you ignore their concern. The scent of Hoiberg’s ndudi lingers, and you quickly offer him some of the pages of the hunting guide you brought for reading material to finish the wiping job. He accepts with thanks before turning his ear to you, wiping cautiously through his Dockers.

All the excitment is interrupted by a vibration from your pocket. It’s your cell phone, and, lo and behold, it just so happens to be Charlotte Bobcats general manager, Rod Higgins.

“Mr. McHale! I’ve an offer you cannot refuse to discuss. I’ve got a great kid I want to send your way for that McCants guy. Former Top 3 pick, Adam Morrison. Just think – if you take the deal you will be able to tell your fans that you’ve added yet another lottery-pick-caliber player to your team in the tradition of Michael Olowokandi and Joe Smith. Not to mention that Adam and Kevin Ollie could share porn ‘stache stories. Ha! Ha!   Well, what do you think? We’d need a pick too in case McCants bolts after this year. I’m thinkin you can help us there with all those firsts you have this year!”

Shocked, put on the spot, soaked, and reeking of human feces, you debate your next decision,

If you accept this offer, contingent on cash considerations being involved in the deal, turn to page 35

If you decline and work out a counter offer for Gerald Wallace, turn to page 178

If you postpone the call and walk to Macy’s in the skyway to buy a new sweater and see what adventure a skyway trip produces, turn to the next page.

Page 178.

“Are you kidding ME?!?!”, you yell into the phone.

“That’s ALL that we’d have to give up for Pornstache Morrison? Why, by golly, you’ve got yourself a…”

“WAIT!!!”, Glen Taylor and Fred Hoiberg shout in unison.

Fred approaches you and quickly hangs up your phone. “Now Kev, are you sure you don’t want to think this through? Trading McCants AND one of our precious first round picks for Adam Morrison? What has he done in his career? I mean, he’s coming back from a horrific injury after missing ALL of last season! Are you sure this is a trade we’d want to do?”

You silently mull his thoughts over in your mind and say “You’re right. That makes sense. We should give him TWO of our first round picks, because we won’t have space on our roster for all these draft picks anyways! Especially if we get Adam. With his mustache, he could easily be a 35 minute per game player. He’ll make it rain from deep like Mr. Pacman in Vegas. And then, we could probably ask for a future second round pick in return so that we can draft this big man I scouted last year from the Maldives… I think he has a lot of raw potential. We could stash him overseas for a while and we won’t even have to sign him for a few years! Great idea Freddi-o!”

You hear an audible groan coming from the corner where Taylor is sitting, but figure it is best to not acknowledge him.

Fred is starting to look visibly perturbed and says “Kevin, no. Honestly man… that’s not what I meant. At all. What I mean was that Adam Morrison sucks. I know he’s white and all, which gets you giddy, but he’s just a flat-out terrible player. Under no circumstances should we trade for him.”

You are crushed. You sit there and imagine the possibilities of a roster with Big Al surrounded by players such as Mike Miller, Randy Foye, and Adam Morrison. The floor spacing possabilities are endless!

Fred snaps you back to reality by saying “I think we should trade for Gerald Wallace, he’s an athletic SF that can defend and rebound. He’s exactly what our roster needs! Here, give me your phone and I’ll call Rod Huggins back to work out some sort of deal.”

You hesitate. You don’t want to give Freddy your precious cell phone, nor do you want to relinquish your GM powers and sit by idly while Fred Hoiberg works out a deal with a rival GM. You two stare at each other for what seems like hours and suddenly Glen Taylor says “Give him the phone already so we can make this trade happen! I hate McCants and like that Wallace cat. I demand you to trade.”

If you give Fred your cellphone so that he can call Rod Huggins, turn to page 122

If you try convincing Fred and Glen that you can work out the trade yourself, turn to page 135

Page 122

Begrudingly, you hand Freddie your cell phone…

…But not before you deftly remove the sample of fishing line that was included as promotional insert on the inner front cover of your 1993 Minnesota DNR Hunting and Fishing Regulation handbook. As Hoiberg reaches for the phone, you grab his arm, spin him around, and proceed to tightly wrap the fishing line around his neck. As Freddies eyes buldge and his face turns puple, Glen Taylor leaps over his desk and attempts to break your death-grasp on the Mayor.

“Kevin! What are you doing?!?”

“You are not taking my job from me, Freddie! I’ve spent the last fourteen years running this franchise into the ground! I’ve botched nearly every draft pick! I’ve let every promising free agent we’ve had walk! I’ve signed all our mediocre players to fat contracts! I’ve signed other teams’ free-agents to to even more bloated deals and needlessly threw first-round draft picks into trade discussions just for kicks…”

Glen desperately tries to free Freddy, and even bites your hand in an attempt to make you let go. You however, will have none of it and your diatribe continues.

“I will not be denied! I’m the man who tried to overpay Ricky Davis when he first became a free agent. When Cleveland matched the offer sheet, I scoured the trade wire every day until, finally, I not only acquired him and his fat deal from Boston, but Mark Blount’s massive contract as well – and I got to toss in a draft pick as icing on the cake! That is what you call dedication!!!”

As the adrenaline surges through you, your pull on the fishing line grows even stronger, causing it to snap. Freddie collapses on the floor, gasping for breath. Glen Taylor leaps off your back and runs to Freddie’s aid. He gives you a look of contempt and defiantly utters the words “You’re fired!”

“Fired? You can’t fire me, Glen! You didn’t fire me after I signed Joe Smith to an illegal contract and cost the team five draft picks, you didn’t fire me when I traded Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy straight-up for that shoint guard Foye, and you didn’t fire me when I traded away the only player putting butts in the seats for the Boston Celtics’ pu pu platter! Face it Glen, if you haven’t fired me already, you never will. You need me, Glen. Without me screwing up your basketball team, your life would be too perfect and boring. You’d be a multi-billionaire with everything you could ever want. I’m the one that keeps you from being satisfied with life! It may be a sick and masochistic need, but you need me nonetheless.”

Your words cut deep to the soul of Glen Taylor, who for the first time realizes the truths which you have just spoken. As tears well in his eyes, he rises up from Freddie’s side, puts one hand on your belly, one hand on your shoulder, and speaks the beautiful precious words that you’ve been waiting so long to hear.

“You complete me, Kevin.”

You stare at each other for what could have been an eternity. For at this moment, as your eyes penetrate deep within each other, as you feel the gentle pulses of each other’s firm grasp, as you smell the manly musk as it slowly rises from each others aching bodies, and your lips quiver with desire, you realize that this was the moment you had spent the last fourteen years of your life working for. Every Ndudi Ebi was now suddenly and utterly worth it.

“Are you guys alright in here? I was sitting at my desk trying to figure out how I could simultaneously play Kevin Love, Sebastian Telfair, and Corey Brewer as little as possible without resorting to bringing in Calvin Booth, when I heard all this commotion!”

Dim-Wittman strikes again! Uncontrollable anger wells up from within you as you realized this buffoon has just spoiled your magical moment of intimacy with Glen Taylor. Before you can even begin to react, Glen interjects.

“Randy, you’re fired! I don’t know if you’re missing a chromosome or just ate too many paint chips as a kid, but you have got to be the most inept head coach this league has ever seen! We’ve made our decision and we’re replacing you with that Bill Biese guy who holds the newspaper. It’s about time he got his chance and it’s not like he could do any worse. Now pack your things, take your two years of guaranteed money, and get lost!”

You expected Randy to take this news pretty hard, but instead his face is beaming. You can’t help but ask him why.

“Um, Randy? You did hear Glen say that you’re fired, right? You do realize that with your 0.241 winning percentage, your chances of ever getting another NBA Head coaching job are about as good as Antoine Walker sticking with the NutraSystem diet, don’t you? Your career in this league is as good as over. Why do you look so happy?”

“Well you see Kev, I just got a call from this Greek team, Olympiakaki-sumthin-or-other, and they just offered me $40 million dollars to coach the team for the next two years. They already have that afro kid and they’re probably going to offer Kobe $200 million to jump on next season and spend $300 million to lure LeBron the next! When everything’s said and done, we’re pretty much going to take over Europe.”

“Um, wow, Randy. I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything Kevin! If anything, I should be saying thanks to you! I mean, if you hadn’t clearly used me as a pawn to throw Dwane Casey under the bus, none of this would’ve ever happened. And you know what the best part is, I hear the women over in Greece don’t wear tops when they go to the beach OR shave their arm pits! See you later fellas!”

Wittman walks out the door of Taylor’s office. For a moment you feel the pangs of jealousy at Randy’s good fortune. But then you glance down at the multi-billionaire who’s resting ever so gently in your arms and all seems right again with the world. After all, you’ve potentially got four first-round draft picks to screw up this summer, tons of future cap space to throw at Andra Bargnani in 2010, and all the time in the world to concoct your latest dream trade to send Al Jefferson back to Boston.


About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.