Conley’s Corner: Good guys finish first

Editor’s note: Mike Conley is one of the best sources of information in the NBA.

Entering his 17th NBA season, the 36-year-old Timberwolves point guard has seen it all and has the knowledge and willingness to explain what’s taken place and what’s to come with the media and, thus, the fans. That breadth of insight and analysis extends from the on-court Xs and Os to team dynamics and development.

Conley is just as good at explaining why two teammates came to blows in the middle of a timeout as he is on what the team needs to do to decode a switch-heavy defense.

So who better to sit down with twice a month to tackle different topics ranging from the Timberwolves to the NBA at large to, well, Mike Conley, than Conley himself.

This is the eighth installment of Conley’s Corner.

Good guys finish first

Mike Conley is generally a private person. While he’s always willing to share his basketball thoughts with the media, his personal life has long remained just that — personal.

“I don’t really post a lot (on social media), I don’t really have my kids all over the place and stuff like that,” he said. “I’m very private.”

But Conley’s team of people around him decided it was time for the veteran point guard to show a bit more of himself. To reveal who he truly is away from the floor.

“You might know me a little bit from what you know (on the court), but like at home, I’m a completely intense person, always wired up and doing stuff nonstop,” Conley said.

So, the exact opposite of the human calming effect he serves as for the Timberwolves.

“So I had to kind of capture that in a fun, comedic way where people could accept it,” Conley said.

The chosen vehicle to do so was a mini series of video shorts. The title: Good Guys Finish First.

It was an apt name for a show staring an NBA player known widely for being perhaps the nicest and most respectful competitor and person the NBA has to offer.

Season 1 was released across Conley’s social media channels in the fall.

The series of two-minute videos give glimpses into Conley’s life and who he is by way of satirical stories addressing topics such as the guard’s competitiveness and kindness. Viewers witness Conley racing his children in cars across the lawn, beating his friends in pool and hoops, and even a verbal account of the professional athlete losing a swim race to his mother in law.

The production was largely put on by Swim Social, the team separate from Conley’s agency that runs his social media accounts and helps with other philanthropic and off-court ventures, along with his business manager.

Initially, Conley admitted it was like “pulling teeth” to get him to do the series. He was skeptical, to say the least.

“I don’t want to show people my house, really, my kids, all of that. I was (like), ‘I don’t really want to do that,’ ” he said. “I was thinking it was going to be maybe kind of corny. I was like, ‘I don’t know what people are going to think.’ ”

But, when the episodes came out, the reviews were raving. People loved the content.

“It ended up being really good and received really well,” Conley said. “I’m getting to show this side of myself that all my coaches and players were like, ‘Man, I didn’t know (that),’ and people were like, ‘Man, I can’t wait for the next one.’ There’s people who really do know me and they call me and are like, ‘That is hilarious, because that is 100 percent what you do and that’s 100 percent how you act.’”

Conley’s favorite episode was the one that featured his kids. It’s not easy to get little kids to focus for a couple hours, especially on a nice summer day. But they were locked into the task at hand.

“Just hearing them get asked questions and their responses and stuff was really cute,” he said.

Conley was especially pleased with the production quality, which was high end and seemed to far exceed his expectations.

“It walked that line of not being corny, but being like The Office, kind of — dry, but very funny and not trying too hard. All of that wrapped into one,” Conley said. “I was very proud of that whole situation.”

Once it all came together, a previously hesitant Conley was all in on the project and its future potential. He and his team had a meeting last month in Washington, D.C., when the Wolves were in town to play the Wizards to discuss plans for Season 2. Conley is already thinking of other family members to add into the fold, such as his father and his cousin. Season 2 hasn’t yet filmed, but the hope is for the next episodes to come out by the offseason, at the latest.

“As soon as it was over, it was like, ‘Alright, we’re doing a Season 2. Here’s our ideas,’ ” Conley said. “It was like, ‘Oh, I might’ve gotten too deep into this one. Now I might be stuck doing this post career or something. It’s a thing.’ But it’s been a fun learning experience for me. I think it’s something that can continue growing.”

Both in terms of the actual video series, but also the brand. Conley has big ideas blossoming for Good Guys Finish First. He’s considering going around the NBA, from city to city, and highlighting other players who have shown themselves to be positive forces in both the NBA and their respective communities.

“And I challenge them to something, anything. Just almost like a community assist award the NBA gives, it’d be like my own,” Conley said. “Spreading that word throughout the league, different sports, in entertainment, different people.”

It’s a way to both entertain and shine a bright light on those who deserve the recognition for, well, doing good.

“I think it’s branching (out) and going,” Conley said. “The seasons will be what they are, and hopefully drawing attention that way, but hopefully that might be the beginning of something that can explode.”

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Past editions of Conley’s Corner:

The voice of the Wolves

Gameday routine

Small-market Mike

The ultimate sportsman

Last of a dying breed

Championship chase

‘Old guy’ has still got game

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