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Two Dudes Casually Offered $20 Naz Reid Tattoos. Hundreds Have Claimed the Deal.

The whirlwind sale will conclude whenever the Wolves exit the playoffs. It might be awhile.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, as you may have heard, are so fucking back.

The laughingstock of the NBA for decades, the losingest franchise in major American pro sports is finally paying dividends to fans who endured seemingly endless minutes from: Darko Miličić (today a simple apple farmer), Jonny Flynn (infamously drafted ahead of Steph Curry), and Alexey Shved (whose face famously needed changing). Now, for the first time since Kevin Garnett's MVP season 20 years ago, the Wolves are back in the Western Conference Semifinals, up 2-0 over the defending champion Denver Nuggets after sweeping the Phoenix Suns 4-0.

It's enough to make you wanna get a tattoo. Specifically, a $20 Naz Reid tattoo. That's the offer that JC Stroebel and Jesse George, two artist apprentices at Beloved Studios in Roseville, extended Monday via Twitter. The response has been as "overwhelming" as the Wolves' suffocating defense.

"There was no light-bulb moment... We always wanted to use our tattooing to place ourselves more prominently in the awesome Timberwolves community, but there was no thought behind the tweet," Stroebel says. "Basically, the Timberwolves absolutely demolished the Nuggets on Sunday, I was all hyped up, and just kinda threw the tweet out willy-nilly, thinking maybe one person would claim the offer. It just kinda snowballed from there."

For the uninitiated, fifth-year Timberwolves center Naz Reid has become something of a folk hero among the fanbase. Prior to winning the Sixth Man of the Year award this week, Reid, a five-star high school recruit from New Jersey, went undrafted after opting to leave LSU early. The sweet-shooting, 6-foot-9 bruiser was out of shape upon signing with the Wolves in 2019. But Reid committed himself as a pro, earning more and more minutes off the bench, and reportedly turned down richer offers last year before resigning with Minnesota. These days the shouted refrain of "NAZ REID!" is an in-the-know rallying cry for fans. (Steve Marsh at MSP Mag recently wrote a wonderful account of how "Big Jelly" evolved into a cult-loved franchise fixture.)

"The words 'Naz Reid' have become so much more.. a greeting, a mantra, something you say to other Wolves fans to show your love for the team," Stroebel says. "Naz's journey in the NBA has kinda reflected the journey of a Timberwolves fan—he's a big-time underdog, he just kept grinding, and now he's one of the best."

But back to tattoos!

The current backlog of Naz Reid tats sits at over 200, and folks are reportedly jockeying for priority appointment slots. Some are emailing multiples times, George reports, while others are emailing from out of state. "It’s even better than you could’ve imagined," raved yesterday's first recipient, pictured above.

To streamline things, each Naz Reid tat will come with a uniform size and font; the promo is scheduled to end as soon as the Wolves exit the playoffs. "So right after the Finals," Stroebel says with a knowing smirk. Both artists acknowledge the risks inherent to getting a proper noun tattooed onto yourself (they know a guy with an unfortunate Bill Cosby tat), but they're confident Naz Reid ink will age gracefully; he genuinely seems like a great dude.

"Nobody is going to want to cover these up, Naz Reid is forever," Stroebel predicts. Plus they're a real bargain—the minimum job at Beloved Studies is usually set at $100.

For the two buddies, who've been apprenticing for about six months each, this Naz Reid promotion has proven to be a crash-course in salesmanship as well as artistry.

"We're kinda finding our style as we go," Stroebel says with a chuckle. "Currently our style is... Naz Reid tattoos."

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