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The Minnesota Timberwolves (also commonly referred to as the T-Wolves, or simply Wolves) are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Founded in 1989, the team is owned by Glen Taylor. The Timberwolves played their home games at the Metrodome during their inaugural season, before moving to Target Center in 1990.
Like most expansion teams, the Timberwolves struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA draft, the team made the playoffs eight consecutive times from 1997 to 2004. Despite losing in the first round in their first seven attempts, the Timberwolves won their first division title in 2004 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals. Garnett was also named the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for that season. The team has been in rebuilding mode since missing the playoffs in 2005, and trading Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007.
NBA basketball returned to the Twin Cities in 1989 for the first time since the Minneapolis Lakers departed for Los Angeles in 1960. The NBA had granted one of its four new expansion teams on April 22, 1987 (the others being the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, and the Miami Heat) to original owners Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner to begin play for the 1989–90 season. (There were two American Basketball Association franchises, the Minnesota Muskies, in 1967–68, and the Minnesota Pipers, in 1968–69.) The franchise conducted a "name the team" contest and eventually selected two finalists, "Timberwolves" and "Polars", in December 1986. The team then asked the 842 city councils in Minnesota to select the winner and "Timberwolves" prevailed by nearly 2 to 1. The team was officially named the "Minnesota Timberwolves" on January 23, 1987. Minnesota is home to the largest population of timberwolves in the lower 48 states.