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Two guys randomly offered Naz Reid tattoos for $20. Hundreds of people demanded the agreement.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, as you may have heardI’m so back.

A laughingstock of the NBA for decades, the losingest franchise in major American professional sports is finally paying dividends for fans who have endured seemingly endless minutes of: Darko Miličić (now a content apple farmer), Jonny Flynn (sadly drafted before Steph Curry), and Alexey Shved (whose face needed to be changed). Now, for the first time since Kevin Garnett’s MVP season 20 years ago, the Wolves are back in the Western Conference semifinals, with a 2-0 lead over the defending champion Denver Nuggets after sweeping the Phoenix Suns 4-0.

Enough to make you want to get a tattoo. Specifically, a $20 Naz Reid tattoo. That’s the offer that JC Stroebel and Jesse George, two apprentice artists at Beloved Studios in Roseville, extended Monday via Twitter. The response was as “overwhelming” as the Wolves’ stifling defense.

“There was no bright spot…We always wanted to use our tattoo to put ourselves more prominently in the awesome Timberwolves fan community, but there was no thought behind the tweet,” Stroebel said. “Basically the Timberwolves completely demolished the Nuggets on Sunday, I was all excited and just threw the tweet out willy-nilly, thinking maybe one person would claim the deal. It just went ballistic snow from there.”

For the uninitiated, fifth-year Timberwolves center Naz Reid has become something of a folk hero among fans. Before 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 6-foot-9 slugger was reportedly out of shape when he signed with the Wolves in 2019. But Reid signed on as a pro, earning more and more minutes off the bench, and reportedly turned down offers richest last year before resigning with Minnesota. These days, the shouted chorus of “NAZ REID!” is a known rallying cry for fans. (MSP Mag’s Steve Marsh recently wrote a wonderful story about how “Big Jelly” became a cult franchise.)

“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 said. “Naz’s journey in the NBA kind of mirrors the journey of a Timberwolves fan: he’s a big underdog, he just kept working, and now he’s one of the best.”

But back to the tattoos!

The current backlog of Naz Reid tattoos stands at more than 200, and people are reportedly competing for priority appointment slots. Some email repeatedly, George reports, while others email from out of state. “It’s even better than you could have imagined.” delirium the first recipient from yesterday, photo above.

To streamline things, each Naz Reid tattoo will be a uniform size and font; the promotion is expected to end as soon as Wolves exit the playoffs. “So right after the final,” Stroebel said with a knowing smile. Both artists recognize the risks inherent in getting a proper name tattoo (they know a guy with an unfortunate Bill Cosby tattoo), but they are confident that Naz Reid’s tattoos will age gracefully; he really seems like a great guy.

“No one will want to hide them, Naz Reid is eternal,” predicts Stroebel. Plus, it’s a real bargain: the minimum salary at Beloved Studies is generally set at $100.

For the two friends, who have been apprentices for about six months each, the Naz Reid promotion has proven to be a crash course in salesmanship and artistry.

“We kind of find our style as we go along,” Stroebel says with a laugh. “Currently our style is…Naz Reid tattoos.”