Posted By: Dan Slaubaugh
The Minnesota Timberwolves community is extremely fortunate to have a large collection of dedicated, knowledgeable Wolves writers who cover the team year in and year out. Here at OTP, we are giving fans an opportunity to find out more about these talented individuals. Our eleventh profile feature is Sherief Elabaddy, who generates fantastic content at his blog "The Timber Rebuilder".
Name: Sheried Elabbady
Affiliaton: The Timber Rebuilder
Web Address: www.TimberRebuilder.com
Sherief! I appreciate the time! Should be fun!
Thanks for having me. It is truly humbling!
How long have you been covering the Wolves for Timber Rebuilder?
Officially, since May of 2015. Unofficially, for a while. I have been a long time forum dweller in many locations and love talking Wolves.
What sparked your interest in writing and starting up a Timberwolves blog?
So, like many, I have been a Wolves fan forever. I also grew up wanting to write storylines for my own Anime series. That didn’t pan out. I also started doing scouting reports on players in the draft as a youngster. I remember going to the Timberwolves Summer league and scouting all the major names from Andrew Bogut to Channing Frye to Ndudi Ebi. I would write up the scouting reports and had my own section on a basketball forum where I would post them.
I eventually dropped writing for a while to go to College and get a job afterwards. I went into IT consulting and lost touch with writing. I then started pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at the U of M part-time. When I started school, I wanted my own company in which I could try to build in parallel to apply my studies and concepts. So I wanted to do something I loved. The first thing that came to mind was the Timberwolves. I didn’t think it would last too long or that anyone would really read, but it somehow gained some traction. So I get to talk about the Timberwolves for fun and try to do experiment to get people to visit the site at the same time.
What will viewers find by reading your content?
I like to get a mix of analysis, opinions, laughs, and mistakes. One thing I know about sports fans is that fans naturally disagree. So I don’t always expect people to see eye-to-eye with me and my opinions. If everyone did, sports wouldn’t be fun. I also kind of believe I am witty. But sometimes that isn’t true. I also don’t have an editor, because that is what 50% of the readers on the Internet comment about anyway. I also try to include in my analysis things I do as a profession as well as what I study. I am an analytics professional by day and an MBA student by night, so sometimes I use those lenses when analyzing the Wolves.
What keeps you driven and motivated to cover the team with excellence?
I love the game and I love the Timberwolves. So I really, really enjoy it. The Timberwolves blog community is also really awesome. I love the interaction that happens with bloggers and fans. There is never a dull moment!
Do you have any interest in possibly moving up in the sports media world to cover the team at a bigger platform?
I will always have an interest but I would prefer a different aspect of sports. I write about the Timberwolves because I love the team and the sport, not because I love to write. This may be shocking. I love the business of sports. So I would love to move into something like that in the future.
The Wolves are one of the NBA’s best young squads. Why should fans be sure to follow the team next year?
Why wouldn’t fans be sure to follow them? I am certain that if the Wolves weren’t my hometown team, I would be watching them on League Pass any moment I could. The team has exciting players throughout the entire roster. There isn’t the pressure to win it all just yet, but they have enough talent where they could keep the same core and compete for a ring in a few years. It is rare in today’s game to have a team grow together anymore. There is a lot of dependency on market and free agency. The Wolves have 3 to 6 guys who could stay intact through their rookie contracts and actually be the nucleus of a contender. Why would you not want to follow?
Do you have a favorite Wolves memory in the time you’ve been covering them?
My favorite part of the season is the draft. So when the Wolves won the draft lottery and drafted Karl Anthony-Towns was probably the most exciting time for me. I got to play through a ton of draft lottery scenarios and felt like I got the draft right that summer. I was really high on Towns and high on Porzingis. So far, I feel like I was right. I definitely didn’t expect Towns to have the season he had, but I did expect him to end up being the best player in the draft when it is all said and done.
What storyline are you most excited to watch unfold for the 2016/17 season?
The Ricky Rubio drama is going to be interesting to follow. It is going to be interesting to see how Dunn and Tyus fight for minutes and if it pushes Rubio away. It is the first time that his role on the team is being threatened. I have always been a huge Shabazz fan, so following his progression will be interesting too. But what I can’t stop thinking about is Wiggins’ defensive progression. I haven’t heard much about him working on it this summer. But that to me is what Wiggins needs to be an All-Star caliber player. Will he be a below average defender again this season? Or will be utilize his physical gifts and become the shut down defender he has the potential to be.
Because there are so many story lines, I am also really excited to see the bromance between the ‘Baby Three’ flourish under the national spotlight this season. It seems like KAT and LaVine have been kickin’ it this summer a lot. Wiggins and Zach too. So I can’t wait to see what continues on from there as they develop their chemistry together.
Which are some of your favorite NBA and Wolves related writers you follow?
Darren Wolfson is awesome from a Wolves perspective. I have a ton of respect for him. After that I love Nate Duncan, Zach Lowe, and Bill Simmons. Podcasts are huge to me and I really enjoy all of theirs.
Rapid Fire (Flame Emojis)
Favorite sports movie? Moneyball
Favorite food? A Juicy Cheeseburger
Favorite weather/season? Spring. Playoffs season.
Favorite TV show? Naruto, Breaking Bad, & Fresh Prince.
Hidden talent? All that are worth mentioning are still hidden. From myself as well.
'95-'96 Bulls or '15-'16 Warriors? Bulls wouldn’t have lost the finals after being up 3-1. Makes it the Bulls easily.
Favorite NBA player of all-time? The 03-04 Timberwolves. And if he reaches his potential, KAT.
Space Jam or Like Mike? Space Jam.
When do the Wolves finally end NBA's longest playoff drought? Going to say 17-18 season. I think they just don’t make it this year. I hope I am wrong.