The fact that Norman Powell hates the Milwaukee Bucks is a well-established fact. Whenever the question “Which role-player seems to always go off against your team?” is posed to the general NBA fandom, the answer is unanimously “I don’t know about my team, but I do know that Norman Powell always goes off against the Bucks because of how much he hates them”. Except for Bucks fans, whose only responses are [body-wracking sobs interspersed with exclamations of “WHY”] and [suicidal ideation].
The myriad reasons that Powell hates the Bucks with every fiber of his being are not fully catalogued, but I’m imagining that one of those reasons is that he has a large amount of disdain for the culture of the Upper Midwest in general. Personally, I enjoy bits of that culture, but I can see why people from other areas wouldn’t appreciate stuff like tater-tot casserole consumed in church basements, faux-politeness that transforms into social ostracization of anyone who isn’t white and Christian, and drunken bar crawls performed on snowmobiles. And since most of that area of the country doesn’t have an NBA team (I have already trademarked “Bismarck Teutons”, so don’t even try), his options to express that disdain are limited to the Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Chicago Bulls, obviously, don’t count, because Illinois possesses its own disgusting “culture” (which mostly consists of dipping discarded cow parts into sewer water and calling it “Italian Beef”) that is distinct from Upper Midwest culture.
So it’s very possible that Powell, while maybe not quite hating them as much as he hates the Bucks, does have a significant amount of hate for the Timberwolves. All the connections with trades and draft rights and playoff battles and stuff don’t apply, and he only faces them rarely because they’re in a different conference, but these 31 points indicate a hate that has not yet been fully expressed. Watch this video. Quickly. You will see that this is the kind of hate-video that YouTube bans from its platform on a regular basis. It’s only one step from here to crazy conspiracy stuff.
Looking at Powell’s splits, he does average a bit more against Minnesota than he does against the league as a whole. But looking even closer, damn, he’s averaging a lot against the Memphis Grizzlies. Everyone keeps bringing up how much he hates the Bucks, but DAMN. We might have it all wrong.