So You Got Drafted To Minnesota…Now What?


Hello and congratulations on being the number one pick in the 2015 NBA draft! Although, I know what you’re probably thinking right about now, “I would trade being the number one pick for being the number two guy — I want to go to Los Angeles!”

I get it. The Lakers are a storied franchise. LA is LA. But you’ve been drafted to Minnesota, so you’re going to have to live with it. Now is the time to channel your negative thoughts into positive ones, and I’m here to help you. As someone who has pretty much lived her entire life in Minnesota, let me walk you through the steps now that you, too, will be calling this lovely state home.

1. Remember, it’s only winter for half of the year (or even less than that!)

2. Focus on creating your personal brand.

3. Stay positive, you might learn to love Minnesota.

4. Channel your frustration of not being on the Lakers into becoming the best player for the Timberwolves.

Remember, it’s only winter for half of the year.

Turn “It’s so cold!” into “Wow! Look at all these beautiful Minnesota seasons!”

Let’s address what we’re all thinking — the winter. Yes, I know, it gets pretty darn cold here. But it also gets very warm. People forget that Minnesota is one of the few lucky places that allow you to experience all of the seasons. It’s really only winter from November to March, and honestly, it’s usually over by mid-March. As a matter of fact, I am literally bathing in my own sweat as I type this, and yes, I am in Minnesota. Sure, all anyone can ever talk about is how Minnesota is like Siberia, blah, blah, blah. But the people who say that have probably never even been to Minnesota. They don’t know that this state can get pretty damn hot. Not to go completely dark, but there was a Vikings football player who died of heatstroke during summer training camp in 2001. Yeah, you read that correctly. HEAT STROKE. See, Minnesota can not only get unbearably cold, but also unbearably hot.

On a lighter note, just know that you will be traveling a lot. So much so that you probably won’t even experience that much snow.

Oh and, in all honesty, if you can’t handle snow you are seriously soft.

Focus on creating your personal brand.

Turn “But I want to be famous!” into “I’m going to work hard and show everyone my shining personality on the court and on social media!”

I know, I know. Don’t we all? But here’s the thing, you can become famous regardless of where you play. If you’re talented enough and you have a fun personality, trust me, people will find you. Let’s take a look at a couple of current case studies:

Case Study 1: Kevin Durant. NBA MVP ✓. Lucrative endorsement with Nike ✓. Has one of the best-selling jerseys in the NBA ✓. Starred in a movie as himself ✓. Owns his own popular restaurant ✓. Friends with the Biebs ✓. Okay, so that last one might not be super appealing, but you know you’ve made it when you’re friends with someone as famous as Justin Bieber. What I’m trying to get across to you is that Kevin Durant plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is not really a “happening” (no offense OKC residents, but let’s be honest). Yeah the Twin Cities area is not LA or NYC, or even Chicago for that matter, but it’s actually pretty big once you put both St. Paul and Minneapolis together. In fact, it’s number 15 on Nielsen’s top local television markets for 2014-2015, so there’s that. But most importantly, if KD can become one of the most popular guys in the NBA while playing in Oklahoma City, anything is possible.

Case Study 2: Aaron Rodgers. The man is famous jet setter who dates Hollywood actress Olivia Munn. Oh, and he is pretty much what comes to mind when you think of State Farm Insurance. In other words, Aaron Rodgers is literally making millions as I type this. But more importantly, Rodgers plays for Green Bay. Listen, I get the whole mystique behind the Packers franchise (I cannot tell you how many friends I have who are diehard Cheeseheads), but at the end of the day IT’S STILL GREEN BAY. I’ve been to Green Bay. The only three things there are Lambeau (obviously), Barnes and Noble, and an Applebee’s. I am not joking.

All you really need is to be funny and adorable on social media. It’s not that hard, I promise. To start out, visit the Twitter account of NBA breakout star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee’s own smoothie king! Then watch every single Chris Bosh photobombing video on YouTube. Take notes and prepare your tweets.

Stay positive, you might learn to love Minnesota.

Turn “Oh, f*** me,” into “I’m going to give this place a try! … And if I don’t like it I can always get traded in a few years.”

Minnesota is more than just some Norwegian guys ice fishing on lakes. There’s a reason why Kevin Garnett waived his no-trade clause to end his career here. KG has said time and time again that he loves his “Sota” (WE LOVE YOU TOO, KG!!!), but are you going to tell me that a just-drafted-out-of-high-school Kevin Garnett (who was living in Chicago at the time) was pumped to be going to Minnesota? No, I can tell you that he probably wasn’t, and look, I don’t blame him. Yet he embraced Minnesota and made the best of it, and ultimately discovered that he loves it here, so much so that he kept his house in Minnesota while he played for other teams. The man even said that he is with this franchise for the long haul, which can only mean good things for the T-Wolves.

A young athlete who has also embraced Minnesota is current Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (okay, I know this is the second NFL player I’m using as an example, but I’m looking at this as a “I’ve been drafted to Minnesota” ordeal that transcends all professional sports leagues). Teddy B., as us Minnesotans lovingly refer to him as, lived in Miami and then went to Louisville. I can only imagine the shock he had when he realized he was going to be drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. But not only has Teddy had a breakout rookie season, he has embraced Minnesota wholeheartedly, as in he attends Wild hockey games and FREAKING LOVES IT. Seriously, look at his Twitter account. He loves hockey.

Channel your frustration of not being on the Lakers into becoming the best player for the Timberwolves.

Turn “But I want to be part of the Lakers! THE LAKERS!” into “They will retire my number at the Target Center!”

Alright, so we’re not the Lakers, although, we used to be. Yes, once upon a time the Los Angeles Lakers had a different name — the Minneapolis Lakers. I mean, why else would they have the name “Lakers”? It’s not like LA is known for its lakes. Anyway, what I guess I’m trying to say is that the Lakers’ history is vast and great, with one-name players like Magic, Kareem, Shaq, Wilt and Kobe, which is both intimidating and ultimately pretty hard to live up to. Meanwhile, the T-Wolves are a young enough franchise to really only have one great, number-retiring player, so now is the time for you to make an impact and to be remembered as one of the great Timberwolves players. Make a name for yourself, be a trailblazer! (I may or may not have read that on a fortune cookie I had at lunch, but you get what I mean). Plus, you will have an amazing supporting cast of teammates to work with. Seriously, have you seen all of the potential talent we’ve got on the Timberwolves? Andrew Wiggins, Rookie of the Year! Zach (“F**k me”) LaVine, Slam Dunk Contest Champion! Ricky Rubio! An aging, yet still insanely competitive, KG! The Lakers, meanwhile, have a rickety Kobe, a post Lin-sanity Jeremy Lin and some dude named Swaggy P, who is most famous for being engaged to Iggy Azalea. That’s it. I’m serious.

If all else fails and you still hate Minnesota, in the end, remember, you could have been drafted by Utah.