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Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012

T-Wolves mourn biggest fan's death

AP

MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Stephenson couldn't talk and still managed to get himself suspended from Minnesota Timberwolves practice for saying too much.

He couldn't walk and still managed to crawl out of his wheelchair to wipe up a wet spot he noticed on the court before anyone else could get there.

He couldn't shoot and still managed to leave a lasting impact on the organization that took him in and treated him as one of the guys.

Stephenson was born with cerebral palsy and died earlier this week after the latest in a long line of bouts with pneumonia, leaving Timberwolves past and present to mourn one of the team's biggest fans, and biggest inspirations. He was 42.

"He was so good for the players and the rest of us," former coach and executive Flip Saunders said. "They all make a lot of money and are kind of on a different level. But Mike helped them get a better understanding that there's other things, bigger things, that make the world go round."



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