Zach Lowe: Timberwolves' court design 'trying and failing to be fearsome'


It's often not paid attention to, but people associated with every single pro sports team get paid to design their home playing surface. There are some rules that must be adhered to (for example, every basketball court needs a 3-point line and clear markings for the paint), but there's also some room for creativity.

Which is evident in Zach Lowe's (fun, good-natured) ranking of all 30 NBA teams' home court designs for Grantland.

Lowe puts the pups' court visuals at No. 26 overall, noting the two-tone theme throughout – dark to light wood inside the 3-point line, a blue paint with black on the sides, and the two-faced wolf logo in the middle.

"The blue-black paint is the right kind of cool, and it makes a crisp contrast with the white dotted line and block/charge circle.' he says, also throwing some love to the font used for "Timberwolves"

The overall design is decent he says, but it's a strong field – a lot of NBA courts look really good. What hurts Minnesota's then?

"[T]he two-toned wood and growling wolf, trying and failing to be fearsome, are enough to knock it all the way down here."

Make sure to check out the rest of the list, especially Milwaukee's interesting "M" design in the wood, and Charlotte's new honeycomb inspiration.

More playing surfaces

So there's the Timberwolves' design. What about the other three major sports?

Here's a look at Target Field, the Xcel Eneergy Center and the Metrodome (since TCF Bank Stadium isn't the Vikings' permanent home).

Target Field (via, which has an angled grass pattern in the outfield.

The Xcel Energy Center (via, which is pretty standard.

And Mall of America Field at the Metrodome (via, which can mostly only be tweaked with the endzone lettering and midfield logo.

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