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Oh well now this is getting hilarious. Just as we embark on an epic conversation regarding the meaning of the Wolves very whiteness, “the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind,” the team goes ahead and signs olde Lou Amundson to a one-year deal at the veterans minimum, reports Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports.

Although I argued last week that the Wolves racial makeup ought to be seen as an outgrowth of the new poly-cultural, multi-stylistic NBA, I must admit that there the weirdness of the situation resurfaces with every white dude the Wolves acquire. On the other hand, I like Lou Amundson. He’s an athletic, energetic forward who loves to stir things up on the court and was at the heart of the Suns incredible run of playoff success and positive vibes of two seasons ago.

On the other other hand, this means that the Wolves will likely not resign Anthony Tolliver, and I liked him a lot too.


Here’s what the Wolves had to say about the Amundson signing:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent forward/center Lou Amundson. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“Lou is an active defender and rebounder who will give us plenty of hustle and energy when he is on the floor,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “We feel Lou is a good complement to our existing roster.”

Amundson, 29, is a six-year NBA veteran who spent the 2011-12 season with Indiana, averaging 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 60 games. In 288 career games (7 starts), the 6-9 forward/center has averages of 4.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13.2 minutes per game. His best season came in 2009-10 with the Phoenix Suns when he finished with averages of 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds. In addition to playing for Indiana and Phoenix (2008-10), Amundson also saw action for Philadelphia for parts of  the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, and played in one game for Utah in 2006-07. He has appeared in a total of 29 playoffs games for Philadelphia, Phoenix and Indiana, averaging 2.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game.


You probably know the stats: the Wolves currently have 15 players on their roster. Ten of those players are what you might call “white.” Of the 12 players likely to see meaningful minutes this year, nine are white. This is a whiter team, both proportionally and in sheer volume, than any of the legendarily white mid-’80’s Celtics teams. This is about as white, I’d wager, as an NBA team can possibly be.

I bring it up not to encourage or endorse the message board/comment section paranoia that inevitably buzzes around issues like this. There’s no conceivable reason that Kahn/Adelman/Taylor (or whichever alliance of the above is actually making the Wolves’ personnel decisions) would have made skin color a guiding roster-building principle. Yes, Minnesota is a pretty white place and yes, we are crazy about Joe Mauer and hockey but we’ve also screamed ourselves hoarse in praise of KG and Kirby and Adrian Peterson and Clem Haskins among many others. The truth is, Minnesotans love a winner, just like everybody else; we’ll go nuts for anybody who can deliver the thrill. In fact, I find the feat of assembling this team even more fabulously weird for its un-intentionality.

But although almost nobody has failed to notice and remark upon the Wolves unconventional racial make up, our discussion of the issue has generally begun with the glib, occasionally paranoid one-liner and ended with a gaping moment of silence. The cultural complexity, the understandable and well-founded fear of giving offense, the sheer strangeness: it all tends to leave us a little stupefied.

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