Fred Hoiberg: The Golden, NBA Years

Fred Hoiberg: The Golden, NBA Years

In 10 years in the NBA, Fred Hoiberg went toe-to-toe with the best player ever, matched up with the current superstars of the NBA in their youth and drove in for a layup against Jason Collins, a utility center who'd one day make history.

It's Thursday, so let's throw this back a ways.

Over the course of a 10-season career in the NBA, Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg — the 52nd overall pick by the Pacers in the 1995 NBA Draft, six picks ahead of Cuonzo Martin — played in 541 games, scored 2,944 points, hit 373 three-pointers and blocked but 59 shots with Indiana, Chicago and Minnesota.

In that time, Hoiberg went toe-to-toe with the best player ever, matched up with the current superstars of the NBA in their youth and drove in for a layup against Jason Collins, a utility center who'd one day make history.

Hoiberg announced his retirement in 2006, an enlarged aortic root prematurely ending his career, and accepted a job in the Timberwolves' front office, eventually rising to vice president of basketball operations in 2009. Hoiberg's time in Minnesota coincided with general manager Kevin McHale swinging O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love on draft day and, the next year, new G.M. David Kahn drafting three point guards with his first three picks in the first round — one was traded to Denver immediately (Ty Lawson), the other stayed in Spain for two more seasons (Ricky Rubio) and the other was Jonny Flynn.

On April 27, 2010, Hoiberg was named head coach at Iowa State. In four years, he's led his alma mater to three NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet Sixteen run in this past NCAA tournament.

All photos are via Getty Images. Corresponding captions — written by the photographer at time of publication — can be found below the image.

AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN — Nov. 5, 1997: The Detroit Pistons' Grant Hill (C) is trapped by the Indiana Pacers' Chris Mullin (L) and Fred Hoiberg.

CHICAGO - MAY 27, 1998: Michael Jordan (L) of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket past Fred Hoiberg (R) of the Indiana Pacers during the second half of game five of their NBA Eastern Conference finals game at the United Center. The Bulls won the game 106-87 to lead the series three games to two.

Hey, remember the main image (scroll up). Well, look who it is: Kevin Ollie.

MIAMI - Feb. 18, 2002: Guard Fred Hoiberg #20 of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball during NBA game against the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEB. 14, 2003: Fred Hoiberg #20 of the Chicago Bulls takes the shot against Jason Collins #35 of the New Jersey Nets during the game at Continental Airlines Arena.

MIAMI - FEB. 22, 2003: Fred Hoiberg #20 of the Chicago Bulls tries to avoid contact with the fans as he jumps over the first row of people in the stands during the NBA game against the Miami Heat.

MINNEAPOLIS - DEC. 19, 2003: Fred Hoiberg of the Minnesota Timberwolves poses for a photo with children during an autograph session at the Gym Store. (Author Note: These, actually, are his children)

DENVER - APRIL 27, 2004: Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets is defended by Fred Hoiberg #32 and Latrell Sprewell #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half during Game four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2004 NBA playoffs at the Pepsi Center.

MINNEAPOLIS - NOV. 15, 2004: Kevin Garnett (L), Latrell Sprewell (2nd-L), Sam Cassell (3rd-L) and Fred Hoiberg (C) of the Minnesota Timberwolves greet students from Odyssey Charter School / Arena Early Learning Center (Brooklyn Park, MN) during the team's Read to Achieve event.

MINNEAPOLIS - FEB. 17, 2005: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is defended by Fred Hoiberg #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 94-88.

MINNEAPOLIS - APRIL 10, 2005: Fred Hoiberg #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves deals cards for fans during the Taste of the Timberwolves, the annual team charity fundraiser benefiting the Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation.

MINNEAPOLIS - JULY 13, 2005: Fred Hoiberg of the Minnesota Timberwolves discusses his recent heart operation in a news conference at the Target Center.

MINNEAPOLIS - JAN. 11, 2006: Fred Hoiberg of the Minnesota Timberwolves hosts a youth basketball clinic prior to the game against the Chicago Bulls at the Target Center.

MINNEAPOLIS - JUNE 27, 2008: Minnesota Timberwolves 2008 First Round draft pick Kevin Love is introduced to the media by Kevin McHale, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Fred Hoiberg, Assistant General Manager at the Target Center.

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