D'Angelo Russell would really like it if fans at Target Center would remain standing until the Timberwolves score their first points.
It's a tradition carried by many high school and college teams, so it really comes across as Russell simply trying to engage the fans, who he bluntly asked to be louder now that the Wolves are contending for a top six seed in the Western Conference and are likely on their way to the playoffs for just the second time since 2003-04.
But why did the idea come up in the first place? For the answer, you have to go back to the weekend when Russell was asked about the spark Patrick Beverly brings to the team.
“It forces guys to want to turn their level of competition up, compete,” Russell said Sunday. “It gets our quiet-ass fans involved, too. So I think it’s good for us to have somebody like him. Kind of wakes people up.”
Quiet-ass fans? That stirred the pot a bit, resulting in The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski crafting a lengthy explainer piece about why fans are tentative to get loud for a franchise that has been the laughing stock of the NBA for three-plus decades.
That got Bally Sports North's Jim Petersen to say the players need to understand what the fans have been through before expecting too much from fans. Russell saw Petersen's tweet and responded:
"Hey Jim I’m just challenging our fans to adjust to this special team. If it’s not [too] much to ask from here on standing until we score to start the game, That would be cool," Russell tweeted.
We'll see if the fans get word of Russell's request and if they follow through when the Wolves return to Target Center on Feb. 15 against the Hornets. They start a four-game road trip Tuesday night at Sacramento.