The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. Founded in 1989, the team is owned by Glen Taylor who also owns the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. The Timberwolves play their home games at Target Center, their home since 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 qualified for the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2004. Despite losing in the first round in their first seven attempts, the Timberwolves won their first division championship in 2004 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals that same season. Garnett was also named the NBA Most Valuable Player for that season. The team then went into rebuilding mode for more than a decade after missing the postseason in 2005, and trading Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007. Garnett returned to the Timberwolves in a February 2015 trade and finished his career there, retiring in the 2016 offseason. The Timberwolves ended a 14-year playoff drought when they returned to the postseason in 2018.
NBA basketball returned to the Twin Cities in 1989 for the first time since the Minneapolis Lakers (1947–1960) departed to 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 Harvey Ratner and Marv Wolfenson to begin play for the 1989–90 season. There were two previous American Basketball Association (ABA) franchises: the Minnesota Muskies (1967–68), and the Minnesota Pipers (1968–69). The Timberwolves have worn throwback uniforms for each of the previous franchises.
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 2–1. The team was officially named the "Minnesota Timberwolves" on January 23, 1987. Minnesota is home to the largest population of timberwolves in the contiguous 48 states.