The Minnesota Timberwolves are slowly looking like the Chicago Bulls team from five years ago — the team that current Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau led to multiple playoff appearances. Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade noticed it, too, and sent out his praise for the coach.
Via his Twitter account, Wade lauded Thibodeau for his loyalty:
Besides competing against his teams in the past i don’t know thibs like that but iam now a bigger fan and it’s because of his loyalty. I love that he believes in his guys. The game is played more than one way.👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 11, 2018
The Timberwolves' roster now comprises of new signee Luol Deng, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson — all of which were part of the Bulls team that Thibodeau once coached.
Fans and players have noticed this. Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers even called Deng a “timberbull.”
Sweet Lou the timberbull!!! https://t.co/rpj41pPCFb
— kuz (@kylekuzma) September 10, 2018
It's an interesting observation by Wade. The word “loyalty” has been tossed around in the league a lot. Especially over the summer when several blockbuster trades tarnished the relationship between players and their former teams. Many say that it's just the way of the business. But for players like Wade, they seem to value loyalty more than anything else.
NBA players are blessed, without a doubt. But their fame and fortune don't remove the fact that they want a steady place in the league — find a team or a coach that would embrace them. Life in the NBA is short after all. Before they call it quits, it would be a comforting fact that they've already found a home.