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It's impossible to miss Jordan Dye courtside at Target Center.

For starters, he is frequently changing the color of his neon hair. When he walks the sidelines before tip-off, camera crews and security guards stop to shake his hand. In photos with fans or Target Center staff, he's always holding up a peace sign.

"It feels like the first time every time," he said of the front-row fan experience. "So I gotta pinch myself, you know?"

The 32-year-old Twin Cities native, named after Michael Jordan, spent his youth developing passions for streetwear fashion and the Timberwolves franchise, which came together this season. It's placed him squarely in the center of Wolves culture.

Dye is loud and animated. He jumps out of his seat at bad calls or incredible plays. His trash-talking (Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns once hurled a choice word at Dye mid-dribble that went viral) has earned him a few warning cards from refs. They are on display with other basketball memorabilia in his Minneapolis apartment.

An ESPN camera crew stopped by recently to interview Dye. They mic'd him up courtside at Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against Denver for his commentary and fandom for an upcoming playoffs documentary.

Being a diehard Wolves fan earned him that spotlight. But Dye is also known for his local clothing line, Lamb Chops, which collaborated with the Timberwolves this season. His exclusive Wolves throwback-inspired hoodies, hats, sweatpants and shirts sold out at Target Center instantly. For a second collab release, Dye restocked 600 hoodies. They all flew off the shelves.

"We had energy and enthusiasm, and I would say optimism for what it would do, but it quite frankly exceeded our expectations in terms of the demand," said Mike Grahl, head of Wolves and Lynx marketing. "The line wrapped around the concourse. … Fans were excited beyond belief."

Grahl said when the team looks to work with an outside designer, they want it centered on the kind of authentic fan affinity that Dye exemplifies. "The NBA drives culture. It's a league that goes beyond just the game of basketball," he said. Dye's fashion sensibility and "prominent face to Timberwolves fans" aligned with the team's positive trajectory this season.

Minnesota Timberwolves fan Jordan Dye during Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals at Target Center in Minneapolis on Wednesday.
Minnesota Timberwolves fan Jordan Dye during Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals at Target Center in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

Dye's success has been building for years — like the Wolves — and not just locally. Rap artists like the late Mac Miller wore Lamb Chops gear. Dye said it's surreal seeing Wolves players like Jordan McLaughlin, Josh Minot and Jaylen Clark rep his brand. He's also created custom jackets for the players' wives.

In his own style, Dye is to the Timberwolves now what Bill Beise was to the franchise for decades. Dubbed the Wolves' longtime "superfan," Beise now bestows that title to Dye.

"He has that passion, you can certainly see that," Beise said in a Friday phone interview while trading stocks. "And I think it's wonderful for the team to have fans that are passionate like that. I'm so happy that he is in that position."

Wolves television analyst Jim Petersen introduced the pair two seasons ago. Beise, 68, said he first learned of Dye when his daughter showed him a photo. It showed Dye dressed up like Beise at a game around Halloween.

"I was just lit up. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world," said Beise, a former 20-year season ticket holder.

Beise's signature look and pose — dressed in a suit, crouching courtside with a rolled-up program in hand — was depicted in bobbleheads the team distributed in 2003.

"I don't know that I was deserving of a bobblehead," Beise said. "I think Jordan would make a great bobblehead."

Beise's persona and presence at Target Center earned him the nickname "Coach." The Star Tribune, in a 2015 profile, reported that Michael Jordan once walked over to Beise and asked why he spends money on a seat if he never sits in it.

Jordan Dye, left, and Bill Beise share a passion for the Timberwolves that runs deep and spans generations.
Jordan Dye, left, and Bill Beise share a passion for the Timberwolves that runs deep and spans generations.


Dye has his best friend and business partner to thank for his courtside seats. The friend didn't want to be named for this story, but he described Dye as a dedicated fan who only misses a few games, both home and on the road, each season.

Dye started going to Wolves games with his dad when he was a kid. Twenty years ago, they attended Game 7 when the Wolves beat the Kings to reach the Western Conference finals for the first time. Last week they were in Denver, where Dye's parents live, when the Wolves finally did it again.

In their family, love for the game runs deep.

"We had his first Air Jordans when he was coming home from the hospital," said dad Dan Dye, who attended the first Timberwolves game at the Metrodome in 1989.

Decades ago, the family shared season tickets with a group of friends, but in the lean years, nobody wanted to go. The Dyes kept coming back, demonstrating a loyalty to the team like Beise.

"That was part of the experience going to the Wolves game was watching Bill," Dan said. "It's an honor and kind of fun to see that kind of torch being passed a little bit and to see how excited Bill gets about Jordan."

Dye's mom Alea is just as passionate. "I'm a good howler," she said while demonstrating in a downtown coffee shop Friday morning. She wore Rudy Gobert socks and a Wolves jersey 10 hours away from tip-off of Game 2 against the Mavericks.

However long this playoff run lasts, Dye will be courtside at Target Center. It's unknown if Beise will make an appearance, but he said he's more excited now than he was 20 years ago for the Wolves and the community surrounding the team.

Beise said there are many lifelong fans in the arena from the courtside up to the 200 section.

"It doesn't matter where you are in the arena," he said. "The team can feel passionate fans regardless of where they are."

Are you a longtime Wolves fan or do you know one the Star Tribune should be writing about this playoff season? Reach out to reporter Kim Hyatt at