The Minnesota Timberwolves may be down 2-1 to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, but falling in the first round doesn’t mean their season will be a failure. In fact, quite the opposite is true; the team finished 47-35,and made the playoffs for the first time since 2004!
In the 14 years in between postseason appearances, quite a bit has happened. Here are a few crazy facts from 2004:
17. Ten new countries join the European Union
Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Malta, and Slovakia all join the EU, which now has 28 active members.
16. The Cassini-Hyugens spacecraft completes its mission
After being launched in 1984, the probe finally reached the planet Saturn where it began to help researchers at NASA compile valuable data. In 2017, the probe officially ended transmissions and will be destroyed in Saturn’s atmosphere.
15. Shrek 2 topped the box office, grossing over $441 million
The sequel topped other classics such as Spider-Man 2, The Incredibles, and National Treasure.
What are you doing in my swamp?
14. Athens, Greece hosts the Summer Olympics
Micheal Phelps began his ascension to the title of greatest male swimmer of all time, winning a total of eight medals, six of them gold.
13. “Yeah!” by Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris topped the Billboard charts
Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” also debuted, and is still incredibly popular to this day.
12. Former President Ronald Reagan died
The 4oth U.S. President was 93 years old when he passed away on June 5th.
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
11. Friends and Frasier end their runs on television
Two of the most popular series of all time air their final episodes, much to the chagrin of Kyrie Irving.
10. Sony released the Play Station Portable
December 12th marked the tech giant’s first endeavor into the mobile gaming arena. The PSP would go on to be a massive success, selling over 82 million units worldwide.
Come out and play.
9. Twitter didn’t exist
Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams wouldn’t launch their social media platform until March 2006. Leaks and drama were far less prevalent because of it.
8. Nintendo released the Nintendo DS
A funny-looking portable gaming system with two screens was released in November. Nearly 14 years later, it has spawned multiple additions to the DS family and has sold in total over 154 million units.
7. Elon Musk invests in Tesla motors
The Australian entrepreneur took a risk which has paid off for him. Musk is now one of the most influential people in the world, with his impacts branching into many sectors, including technology, manufacturing, and economics.
6. The iPhone didn’t exist
Steve Jobs wouldn’t announce the first mainstream smartphone until January of 2007. Why would you need a computer on your phone? It’s for calling people.
This is only the beginning.
5. 2004 NFL draft
The San Diego Chargers held the first overall pick and took Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning. But, Manning announced he would never play for the Chargers, so he was traded to the New York Giants for the fourth overall pick, QB Phillip Rivers. Other prominent players include wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, safety Sean Taylor, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
4. Facebook was created
In February, an upstart social media platform was founded. At the time, no one thought it would ever be able to compete with the monopolistic MySpace. Now, the website has 2.2 billion users every month.
I saw you had a birthday party on Thursday, why didn’t you invite me? I thought we were friends.
3. 2004 NBA Draft
High schooler Dwight Howard was chosen first overall by the Orlando Magic. Other notable selections: Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, Andre Igoudala, and Al Jefferson.
2. 2017 NBA Draft first overall pick Markelle Fultz was five years old
Due to a shoulder injury, Fultz played in only 14 games this season, averaging 7.1 points and 3.8 assists in 18.1 minutes per game.
1. 2003-2004 Timberwolves
Kevin Garnett led the team, averaging 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.2 blocks in 39.4 minutes per game, winning the NBA MVP award. Sam Cassell added 19.8, and Latrell Sprewell contributed 16.8.
Minnesota’s regular season record was 58-24, and they were Midwest Division champions. The Timberwolves fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals in six games. LA failed in their quest for four straight NBA titles.
The following season, Minnesota finished 44-38 (third in the division); they missed the playoffs, never to return until 2017-2018.
Garnett remained with the team until 2007, when he was traded to the Boston Celtics.
The world is a very different place than it was in 2004. So is the NBA, but it’s certainly a better league when the Timberwolves are competitive, and now they are once again. Minnesota has a bright future ahead, and fans have a lot to look forward to.