A smile—encouraged by McHale—has been added to Gugliotta's seriousness. Just play the game. Relax. What could be better? He's the Timberwolves' anchor as the two young stars, Garnett and Mar-bury, add NBA experience. The confusion of a season ago, when he and Laettner and Rider all needed the ball, has disappeared. The ball pretty much belongs to Gugliotta.
"I was at the All-Star Game, and Laettner, Garnett and Googs all were there," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders says. "Someone said, 'Hey, that was your frontcourt last year. If you'd kept them together, you'd have all All-Stars.' I said, 'If we'd kept them together, we might not have had any All-Stars.' Everything has worked out best for all of us."
"We're a team that has time on its side," McHale says. "Most of the good teams are fighting time, wishing it would stand still. Me? I would like to hurry time, click my heels and make it three years from now. That's our time."
What would Frank Gugliotta think?