The idea of the Twin Towers has been around since Sauron and Saruman teamed up in an effort to start a dynasty in the Third Age of Middle-earth. The two towers eventually failed in Middle Earth, but were more powerful in the NBA.
For decades, the NBA was dominated by big men, but for the most part, they were a lonely mountain surrounded by guards. Now that three points and a divergence have taken over the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to turn things back by pairing Cities of Karl Anthony And the Rudy Gobert To bully their way to the tournament. It’s an interesting strategy that has had mixed results in the past.
To understand if a reinforced front court in Minnesota is an entirely good idea, let’s take a look at the history of the NBA’s Twin Towers.
Championship teams are built around a single, larger-than-life center that carried a group of juniors to a title littered with in the early days of the NBA. George MikanAnd the Bill RussellAnd the Wilt ChamberlainAnd the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar He dominated the game from the 1940’s through the 1970’s and ’80’s. The tournament ticket is a giant skilled in position. But the idea was if you stuck another giant in the paint next to it, it would block the driveway and incapacitate the rest of your team. It wasn’t until the Washington Bullets . were paired up Elvin Hayes with Wes Unseld In the mid-1970s the idea of building around two big people was born.
Unseld and Hayes were mountain men in their heyday, but are hardly ever counted as twin towers. They were closer to a large hill (Unseld) and a rocky surface hewn from granite (Hayes). Washington ranked Unseld at 6’7″ and Hayes at 6’9″, but it was one of the first times in NBA history that two tall players were the biggest stars on their team. Unseld and Hayes led the Bullets to the 1978 NBA Championship and quashed the idea that two big guys would ruin your attack.
The Twin Towers were actually born in 1984. The Houston Rockets chose the 7’4 Fall Series Ralph Sampson The first time in general in 1983 and then took a fellow 7 footer Hakim Aliwan With the first pick in 1984. They stormed the league hard. Sampson and Olajuwon averaged over 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game in Olajuwon’s junior season, sending the Rockets back to the playoffs.
The tall boys kicked things into gear the following season when they took Houston to the NBA Finals. However, they lost to the greatest Boston Celtics in six games. Unfortunately, things didn’t last long for the OG numbers. Sampson’s legs buckled under his massive height, and Houston quickly traded him for the Golden State Warriors. Although they didn’t win a championship together, Sampson and Olajuwon paved the way for other Twin Towers to appear throughout the league.
Michael Jordan Determine the next decade of the NBA. No matter how big a team he tried to get into, MJ would jump over them on his way to six championships in the ’90s. Upon his retirement in 1998, the NBA was finally ready for two of the greatest men of all time to team up.
In the late ’90s, the San Antonio Spurs wasn’t the typical franchise we know today. They’ve been first-round fodder in the past two decades since joining the NBA from the ABA. Then it came David Robinsona 7’0 sailor carved out of marble and goes to fight every night against the likes of Olajuwon, Shaq, Patrick EwingAnd the Alonzo Haddad In the golden age of centers. All that work took its toll, and Robinson played only six games in 1996-1997, thanks to a broken foot.
What should have been a death knell for the midway franchise was a blessing in disguise. They took a swimmer-turned-basketball player by the name Tim Duncan With the first selection of the draft. The rest is history. The Admiral and the big main led Spurs to their first championship in the 1999 season which cut short the strike and earned the second ring in Robinson’s final season. Yes, it was a fluke to his former self in the end, but the Twin Towers agenda worked as well as anyone could have dreamed of in San Antonio.
Then nothing. Tottenham continued to win titles with Duncan, Tony ParkerAnd the Manu Ginobili. Kevin Garnett Big 3 formed with Paul Pierce And the Ray Allen. LeBron James cooperated with Dwyane Wade And the Chris Bush. Then it finally happened. A real jump team, 2015 Warriors, won a championship. and that it was; The Twin Towers movement has ended. Everyone was going to the junior and adding more three-point shooters instead of the big ones to devour Roast beef, a renegade.
The difference tried to be great. Added New Orleans Pelicans Cousins of DeMarcus To the led list Anthony Davis. It was a fun year, but the Pelicans took off in the second round and loosened their front row. In the years that followed, the center’s center experienced a resurgence with the likes Joel EmbiidAnd the Nikola Jokicand Towns and Gobert.
Now that the last two Minnesota centers have teamed up, is the counterculture movement working that could lead the Timberwolves to the promised land? For those who think the days of two big guys leading a championship team are dead, remember that Towns aren’t your natural center blocking your lanes, foot-heavy ones who don’t venture out of paint. It’s part of the 3-point shooting revolution and the player front office thought He was on the verge of breaking the NBA. Cities are Greatest big man shoot himself of all time And the transition to power this season.
Perhaps this was not the re-emergence of the Twin Towers, but the beginning of something new. Like the ’78 Bullets with Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld, the Timberwolves in 2022-23 may have figured out how to put two giants together on the same basketball court in a way we’ve never seen before.