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

Great post buddy! Enjoyed reading, is there a subscribe button so I Can subscribe and get notified of new posts? Como fazer retrospectiva animada

What your saying is completely proper. I know that all people must say the incredibly exact same issue, but I just presume that you put it in a way that everyone can totally grasp. I also actually like the photographs you position in the adhering to. They match so nicely with what youre attempting to say. Im guaranteed youll accomplish so quite a couple of men and women with what youve acquired to say. Get Free Cryptocurrency Coins

much obliged this is great web journal. rural fire company

A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to examine this, I feel unequivocally about it and adoration adapting more on this subject. On the off chance that conceivable, as you pick up aptitude, would you psyche overhauling your web journal with additional data? It is to a great degree accommodating for me. www.raxxbarandgrill.com

Howdy! A debt of gratitude is in order for the considerable data you havr gave! You have touched on crucuial focuses! kaçak bahis oyna

On the off chance that more individuals that compose articles truly fretted about composing extraordinary substance like you, more perusers would be keen on their compositions. Much obliged to you for thinking about your substance. Turkce casino siteleri

I am speechless. This is a superb weblog and very engaging too. Nice work! That’s now not actually so much coming from an newbie publisher like me, but it’s all I could say after diving into your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. No longer like other blogs. You in point of fact realize what you?re talking approximately too. Such a lot that you simply made me want to discover more. Your blog has develop into a stepping stone for me, my friend. https://www.edocr.com/user/EssayWritingLab

Much obliged to you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to distribute this data extremely valuable! Grammarly Student Discount

Much obliged to you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to distribute this data extremely valuable! Grammarly Student Discount

hi!! Exceptionally fascinating examination happy that I ran over such instructive post. Keep doing awesome. Happy to be a piece of your net group. Philly Special Shirt

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this data. I truly like your blog entry all that much. You have truly shared a useful and intriguing blog entry with individuals.. 1xiddaa.com

Auch durch die unmittelbare Kundenresonanz können wir in der Entwicklungsabteilung Ideen und Verbesserungen am Produkt direkt und schnell umsetzen. brast rasenmäher

Three are normally modest Ralph Lauren accessible available to be purchased every last time you wish to purchase. Robot vacuum cleaner

Three are normally modest Ralph Lauren accessible available to be purchased every last time you wish to purchase. Robot vacuum cleaner

Our business is to support the best emerging ICOs at certain and sustainable costs by giving them the tools and visibility necessary to generate real and last value for investors and underwriters. ico management

Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Payday Loan Consolidation

Atlantic Power is an South African based company that specializes in the installation and jointing of cables up to 33kv including assisted cables. power cable joiner

I have express a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorite’s blog site list and will be checking back soon… Koffer packen und ab nach Asien

I have express a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorite’s blog site list and will be checking back soon… Koffer packen und ab nach Asien

This is very interesting, but it is necessary to click on this link: Preventivo pavimenti

There are a lot of great ideas in this post. I hope you keep this quality level up so we can enjoy a lot more great content from your side. House Cleaning Services Abu Dhabi

There are a lot of great ideas in this post. I hope you keep this quality level up so we can enjoy a lot more great content from your side. custom engagement rings

Organic search engine optimization doesn’t have just a one-time effect; it can continue well into the future bringing you more business as time passes; and, we give you tools and techniques to keep your site “fresh” and valuable without needing us once we achieve the rankings. DoFollow backlinks

I have express a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorite’s blog site list and will be checking back soon… Stephen Pierce

There is such a great amount in this article I would never have considered all alone. Your substance gives perusers things to consider in a fascinating way. Much obliged to you for your reasonable data. yabancı online bahis siteleri

This is a vintage and pinup fashion blog with style and outfit inspiration as well as the vintage lifestyle. Pinup

Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. Autodesk Autocad 2015 price

A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to examine this, I feel unequivocally about it and adoration adapting more on this subject. On the off chance that conceivable, as you pick up aptitude, would you psyche overhauling your web journal with additional data? It is to a great degree accommodating for me. bahis sitesi

On the off chance that more individuals that compose articles truly fretted about composing extraordinary substance like you, more perusers would be keen on their compositions. Much obliged to you for thinking about your substance. online bahis siteleri

much obliged this is great web journal. eniyiturkcebahisoyna

Magnificent site you have here, so much cool data!.. online bahis

I discovered your this post while hunting down data about web journal related exploration ... It's a decent post .. continue posting and overhauling data. online bahis

Much obliged to you again for all the information you distribute,Good post. I was exceptionally keen on the article, it's very motivating I ought to concede. I like going to you site since I generally go over intriguing articles like this one.Great Job, I incredibly acknowledge that.Do Keep sharing! Respects, voyance audiotel

I discovered your this post while scanning for some related data on online journal search...Its a decent post..keep posting and upgrade the data. pilates ekipmanlari

No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. blackjack oyna bedava

I valued your work extremely thanks sanal para birimleri

I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!. fly casting technique

Its an incredible joy perusing your post.Its brimming with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that "The substance of your post is magnificent" Great work. voyance gratuite telephone 24h 24

Incredible overview, I'm certain you're getting an awesome reaction. banka havale bahis

I cherish the way you compose and share your specialty! Extremely intriguing and diverse! Keep it coming! online bahis

I am unquestionably making the most of your site. You unquestionably have some extraordinary knowledge and incredible stories. canlı bahis oyna

I truly welcome this magnificent post that you have accommodated us. I guarantee this would be helpful for the majority of the general population. guest posting sites

Much thanks for this valuable article. I like it. bahis siteleri

Many thanks for spending some time to line this all out for people like us. This blog post has been really helpful in my opinion. welfare

I see that you are using WordPress on your blog, wordpress is the best.*:~-” Fitness Center

I read your website as often as possible and I just thought I'd say keep up the astonishing work! qrius.com

Great information! I??ve been looking for such as this for a little bit now. Thanks! maternity photo shoot

hi!! Exceptionally fascinating examination happy that I ran over such instructive post. Keep doing awesome. Happy to be a piece of your net group. wakanda forever t shirt

Great article, much obliged for assembling this! This is clearly one extraordinary post. A debt of gratitude is in order for the important data and bits of knowledge you have so given here. buy Autocad Design Suite software

This substance is composed exceptionally well. Your utilization of arranging while mentioning your focuses makes your objective facts clear and straightforward. Much obliged to you. Gold Chokers