Dear NBA, Please Stop Hating The Minnesota Timberwolves. Sincerely, a Wolves Fan

Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 03:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after he is called for an offensive foul in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 3, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Living in Minnesota nearly my whole life, I can tell you that all the attention in the state normally goes to the Twins and the Vikings.

I can understand the Twins being the favorite, having opened up a new ballpark last year and seeing recent divisional success in the 2000's.

The Vikings have been decent but have never made it to the big time, and I can say the same thing about the Wild.

Then you bring up the Timberwolves and you hear snickers, usually from out-of-staters who aren't "Minnesota Nice."

This team is made fun of constantly in NBA cliches, and even superstars have chimed in recently

In late December LeBron James said that the league would be better off in the future if it eliminated teams like the Timberwolves.

Then the Lakers' Kobe Bryant said just days later that his team was playing so poorly that even going to the Target Center and facing Kurt Rambis' team wouldn't be a gimmee.

Anyone associated with the NBA has probably forgotten that the Wolves are just seven seasons removed from being widely considered the best team in the Western Conference and making it to the conference finals before losing to the Lakers in six games.

They had the NBA's "Three-Headed Monster" in the MVP and proclaimed "Best Player on the Planet" in Kevin Garnett, a sharpshooter in the controversial Latrell Sprewell, and the speedy and clutch Sam Cassell.

I know they have been poor in recent memory, but they aren't the only team that has struggled lately.  

Seven teams in just the West haven't been to the conference finale since Minnesota last made it during that magical 2003-04 season, and there are a handful more in the East.

So why so much hate against the Wolves? 

Why not against those other seven (which, by the way, are the Blazers, Thunder, Clippers, Kings, Rockets, Grizzlies, and Hornets)?

Surely it isn't just because they are a small market team.

Is it because they never get one of the first couple desired ping pong balls in the NBA Lottery?

Whatever it is, the fact of the matter is that if superstars and fans alike are going to make fun of teams like the Wolves, make sure you know that there are other teams that have had less success than 'Snowta in recent history.

So check your facts, Kobe and LeBron.

There are worse franchises in the NBA, so please stop harassing us.

You're just lucky that we're "Minnesota Nice."