MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Stephenson could not talk and still managed to get himself suspended from Minnesota Timberwolves practices for saying too much.
He could not walk and still crawled out of his wheelchair to wipe up a wet spot he noticed on the court before anyone else could get there. He could not shoot and still left a lasting impact on the organization that took him in and treated him as one of the guys.
Mr. Stephenson, 42, 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.
Mr. Stephenson started showing up to Timberwolves games regularly around 2000. Never bashful, he chased down former Wolves executive Kevin McHale at a Twins game and asked for his e-mail address.