Between Love and Hate

What we talk about when we talk about Kevin Love, and what Kevin Love talks about.
Share |

In the ongoing dust storm of dumb things uttered by NBA players this offseason, Kevin Love’s statement/threat/disappointment with his employers should be no more than a throwaway. Compared to Dwight Howard’s pouty egomania, Eric Gordon’s vocal misunderstanding of restricted free agency, everything Nicolas Batum's agent says, and the broad psychopathology surrounding Jeremy Lin, what are Love’s utterances, really, but just another voice for us to ignore until the Olympics start and we can ease back into game-watching?

Well, they're that, but not just that. There's nothing much to them, exactly—any Timberwolves fan would agree with Love's stated desire for his front office to make moves, just as any fan of any team would; and, of course, every front office in the league is doing just that right now. Still, as a Timberwolves fan, there's something deeply deflating about hearing these words and the frustration undergirding them. The point is, reasonable or not, saying all this OUT LOUD does nothing useful, and can do serious damage to a team with so little margin for error as the Wolves. It scares free agents, it gives other teams the green light to make inquiries about Love, and it alienates teammates. More to the point, it's not a good look: when Love makes comments about wanting to “surround greatness with greatness” all of a sudden, he looks a lot like Christian Laettner, who famously looked around the locker room after a game and pointed “Loser, loser, loser, loser” to each teammate before pointing to himself as the only winner.

The greater part of being a fan is overlooking all this, or simply not seeing it. It was not until Kevin Garnett left the Wolves that I realized how biased I had been in defending him at every turn. My record of this, for better or worse, is there in the pages and comments of Freedarko.com, where I can be found arguing on behalf of KG’s post game or his clutch instincts, trying to reason that he wasn’t merely a big bully who liked to punk younger players. Once KG left, I realized that a lot of these statements were blinded by my Minnesota fandom, and I decided I would try to remain more objective about my team in the future. In Love's case, that means looking at him clearly: I like him, but can recognize that his defense is nowhere close to sufficient yet, and he has a horrible habit of complaining about every foul call; it's an annoying habit for which I've knocked Tim Duncan for years. Love doesn't wear it much better.

All that said, Love is a joy to watch—a unique and uniquely attuned player, a special player, a top-seven talent and a deserving Olympian—and I am grateful to have him on a team I care about. But Love is all those things—unique and special and talented and deserving—in all the same ways that Carmelo Anthony is. Which is to say that, for all his obvious and undeniable brilliance, Love is flawed—forever almost-but-not-quite making up for his defense by offensive prowess, and probably not the guy to lead a team to the playoffs on his own. In the present NBA marketplace, this sort of player gets a max contract. This is the way it works, but it doesn't work very well for the teams offering those deals.

So, in a non-abstracted, non-fan way, I was thrilled last season when David Kahn offered the non-max contract to Kevin Love at four years and $62 million—an offer that was completely engineered by owner, Glen Taylor, by the way. Here, finally, was a player was getting offered exactly what he was worth—a lot of money, to be sure, but not too much. Instead, everyone from Bill Simmons to local Minnesota baseball writers were ripping the Wolves for not giving Love more and arguing that Love was a max player. Then, a few weeks later, Ricky Rubio went down and Kevin Love played exactly like a guy worth four years, $62 million. Which is not an insult, exactly, but is also to say that Love has a lifetime winning percentage of less than .270. After Rubio went down, the Wolves, who started 21-20, went 4-14 in the games in which Love played.

The non-max contract not only adequately matches Love’s ability to bring the Wolves wins, but does two excellent things for the franchise. First, Love's deal allows the Wolves to sign Rubio to the big money he will inevitably command and deserve, to say nothing of helping out in Nikola Pekovic’s impending contract situation. This is the first season since… well, it's arguably the first season ever that free agents have openly expressed interest in coming to Minnesota, and Rubio’s arrival is undoubtedly the main factor. Nicolas Batum’s explanation to David Aldridge as to why he wants to join Minnesota mentioned only two men, Rubio and Rick Adelman. Second, the size of Love's deal makes it easy enough to trade if Love is further revealed as the type of player—a star, if not necessarily one who turns a team into a winner—that he appears to be.

The same people who rip the organization for not giving Love the max are likely those enjoying a good hearty laugh at Amar'e Stoudemire’s contract (with a playoff team!). Note, please, that I fully recognize the reality of the current NBA climate in which non-franchise players (of which I mean anyone not named Bron, Kobe, Pierce, D-Rose, Howard, Blake, Durant, Dirk, Rondo, Paul, or Westbrook) get max deals. It's easy to play the card of, "If Brook Lopez and Eric Gordon get max deals, then certainly Love deserves one." But it's hard to understand why the Wolves front office should be criticized for not buying into this type of contract-maxing-madness that causes lockouts. The Wolves were patient with Kevin Love, sticking with him as he has developed into a star. Only six months into his new contract, he has not showed them the same patience.

Forget everything above about whether Love deserves the max deal or not. Forget whether he’s justified in saying what he did; I already said he is. The point is, Love saying these things out loud does nothing useful for a franchise whose still-parlous fate can turn on the wrong draft pick, an odd injury, or swirling rumors of unrest. For all last season's improvement, the situation in Minnesota is still delicate. Love surely knows this.

And in choosing to forget about that, Love comes off sounding like the kid who went to mock trial camp for the summer and is now too cool for his old friends back home. This is not Kevin Garnett asking, “What more can I do here?” This is a guy who is unclear on how to handle the responsibilities of leadership. I get it, I sympathize, and I like to see the desire to win; any Wolves fan would. But the first step toward getting to the postseason involves that cliché that LeBron James spouted all playoffs long: taking a good look in the mirror.


Share |

Comments

I was a kid. Mine wasn’t signed, and if it had been I would’ve just gotten Spud Webb’s autograph and cut out all the other pictures and burned them. (Though maybe not James Worthy; I wasn’t just short, I wore goggles too...) body slim herbal

I invite you to the page where long term parking midway airport chicago see how much we have in common.

I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles. Glad to chat your blog, I seem to be forward to more reliable articles and I think we all wish to thank so many good articles, blog to share with us.Towelling Dressing Gowns

With its tropical design elements and surfboard-esque shapes, the longboard takes skateboarding back to a past that never quite existed.girlsdoporn

What a great blog, thank you for letting me comment on it.
bed bugs control calgary

Through this post, I know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. I notify that this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing.Cotton Pillows

I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.PDFlirt

my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.. florence divorce attorney

you've come to the right place. Shoot me over a message if you have any questions about what I offer!
purchase neopoints

Critical bench is an ebook which is immediately available after purchase. The product is geared towards building your muscles and strength.rebel mouse

The product is geared towards building your muscles and strength movers and packers pune

I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t understand this. You should proceed your writing. cab service jaipur to delhi

I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good smarthappybirthdaywishes.com

but just another voice for us to ignore until the Olympics start and we can ease back into game-watching?m88

eruption of choreographed/chaotic collective delusion. This is maybe not the bravest of stances, but I won’t be part of it.www.freeminecraftaccountsguide.com

Love deserves the max deal or not. Forget whether he’s justified in saying what he did; I already said he is. The point Free PDFs

We Are A Full-Service Provider Of High Quality Backlinks That Help Boost Traffic, Increase Rankings, And Build Authority. With Years Of Experience We Know Exactly What Type Of Manual Dofollow Blog Comments It Takes To Quickly Increase Your Online Visibility
High PR Blog comments

Loser, loser, loser, loser” to each teammate before pointing to himself as the only winner.https://rebelmouse.com

The result is skin-like surface of an orange, and a more advanced stage of cellulite compared to the mattress - full of hollows and lumps. It does not look nice, so try to change it. But do not count on an easy and quick success...email marketing services software

Love’s utterances, really, but just another voice for us to ignore until the Olympics start and we can ease back into game-watching? loft conversions london

enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you poST .. utah seo companies

verything you needed to start run the game. You may copy the directory to anywhere you want and start working from there. Marijuana news

I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way.discover more here

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good home page

the nice info you’ve got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon what to text your ex girlfriend to get her bac.... dofollow backlink service

I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon what to text your ex girlfriend to get her bac.... .. car rental jaipur to delhi

While your rage is hilariously misplaced, it is odd that TC hasn't made any reference to the PSU scandal since January. Maybe they've got it right- there is nothing good to be learned here anymore. Let's put this matter behind us and never speak of it again. sash windows

This is excellent work! I was really hoping to seek some of your brilliant insights on this matter and you have provided me that. assisted living reviews

victime auprès de la Police suisse, web based help desk software
puis transférée aux services

Lin, what are Love’s utterances, really, but just another voice for us to ignore until the Olympics start and we can ease back into game-watching?Hotels in Bangkok

ake the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, viagra bestellen

bis hin zur Bildaufhängung mit Diebstahlschutz. Wir als Bilderrahmenprofi haben Free PDF Ebooks Directory

Bildaufhängung mit Diebstahlschutz.pet supplies

Bildaufhängung mit Diebstahlschutz. Wir als Bilderrahmenprofi haben.. custom product development

bout adverbials is that they are like adverbs that describe, tells something about, or modify a .web logo

describe, tells something about, or modify a how can i get a body like jessica alba

have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. ..utah seo companies

it is odd that TC hasn't made any reference to the PSU scandal since January. Maybe they've got it right- there.. PDFs Directory

I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers .. hop over to this site

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...https://www.rebelmouse.com/oldschoolnewbodypdfreview/

Love deserves the max deal or not. Forget whether he’s justified in saying what he did; I already said he . motivation to lose weight

really, but just another voice for us to ignore until the Olympics start and we can ease back into game-watching? LED Desk Lamp by Newhouse Lighting

to each teammate before pointing to himself as the only winner. textmate2 org

I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing.

Pregnancy Miracle Book

loser, loser, loser” to each teammate before pointing to himself as the only winner. loft conversions london

utterances, really, but just another voice for us to ignore until the Olympics start and we can ease back into game-watching try it

This is a 2 good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m absolutely going to look into it. in fact very useful tips are provided here. thank you so much.mobile inspections

Enjoy some great benefits of ads related to totally thoroughly gratifying internet site web page which will in addition in addition internet site..levitra

You are an exceptionally proficient blogger. I am certain they will understand numerous new things here than any other person! targeted direct email marketing

sufficient yet, and he has a horrible habit of complaining about every foul call; it's an annoying habit for which I've knocked Tim Duncan for years. Love doesn't wear it much better.find a tradesman