For a few reasons, I wanted to share some background on this blog and its two authors. After writing endless chains of Wolves-related emails back and forth, Patrick J and I decided to start Punch-Drunk Wolves in the middle of last year’s lockout. (These have since been incorporated into our INBOX series and still tend to be our favorite posts to write.) Like many of you, we’re old hands over at Canis Hoopus. I’ve always gone by “Andy G” on internet blogs; Patrick J doesn’t always comment, but when he does, he goes by ”Shogun”—at least over at CH. We’re longtime Wolves fans who became friends in basketball: I was a scrawny tenth grader and Patrick J was a senior big man on our high school’s varsity team circa 1999. We reconnected in 2007 when I was a law student in St. Paul and he was a grad student in the Bay Area and ended up bantering a lot about the Wolves.
That was a fork-in-the-road time for the Wolves, who were about to trade KG and drop below “NBA Purgatory” status for the first time in a decade. Hawks fans are experiencing this exciting uncertainty right now. (SPOILER ALERT: It isn’t as much fun as it might seem.) Pat introduced me to Britt Robson’s legendary (in a cult sort of way) blog at City Pages/The Rake that had these comment sections that would erupt into spirited-but-intelligent Twolves debates. Before that, I had only seen ESPN or Star Tribune-type comment sections full of insults and bad grammar. Britt’s blog, where he’d engage in hoop arguments with anybody ready, willing and able, struck me as the way ahead. When he took his talents to Sports Illustrated, the conversation quickly moved and rapidly expanded over at Hoopus, where it’s been going strong for years. After four years of email and comment-board writing, I thought it’d be fun to have my own blog. Patrick J was game; here we are.
Our “Authors” page is intentionally short on details. We’ve both got jobs that take up most of our time and we mostly try to keep that separate from the blog. But at the same time, we want to cultivate a more personal atmosphere here. That’s part of what this post is about. I’m a 30-year-old attorney living and working in Downtown Minneapolis. I have season tickets and attend most games with my dad, who drives up from the Rochester area (he also designed our blog’s logo—shout out!–he’s what must be a rare combination: former basketball coach/artist).
I played hoops in high school and for my D3 college. I don’t know how much that experience helps (or might sometimes hinder) my ability to analyze pro basketball. Like most things, it probably depends on your unique experiences. Mine revolved around being a tall high-school point guard who was moved “off the ball” in college, a transition I found difficult. I often write about “catch-and-shoot” players, and part of that point of emphasis comes from my years-long–and not particularly successful–attempt at becoming one.
As a hoops fan, I enjoy arguing that Michael Jordan is not necessarily the greatest basketball player of all time and Carmelo Anthony is not the worst. Essentially, I argue that there is an argument to be made; I blame law school for this. In any case, it’s been a thrill to see Ricky Rubio bring life back to the Target Center and I anxiously await covering another season here.
Patrick J is a 32-year old national security researcher in Washington D.C. whose work is cited in publications you’ve heard of. He’s a Ph.D. in political science. He did a post-doc at Harvard. Way back when, he could beat me at one-on-one 9 times out of 10 but not anymore. (Eds. note: Patrick J here—I can confirm this is no longer the case.) He watches all the games on League Pass, and over the course of his nomadic grad school life got to immerse himself in the local hoops cultures surrounding the Bulls, Warriors, Celtics, and now the Wiz.
Our Twitter account (@PDWolves) is co-authored, which is maybe a little weird but it’s how we do it. I write probably 80 percent of our tweets, but we’re not a monolith. So if you see an argumentative MJ tweet it’s probably mine, and if you see a tweet mocking BYRON MULLENS it’s probably PJ’s. If the blog keeps getting bigger we’ll maybe do separate accounts to keep everything straight, but for now that’s how we roll. In any case, follow @PDWolves if you aren’t already!
Meanwhile, we’ll continue to experiment with posts and approaches as we refine the blog heading into the new season. Thanks for checking in here, and double thanks for commenting.