First off, I have to give a hat tip to Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN-Twin Cities for planting the seed of this article. Citing sources is important when applicable, and a talk radio host was that for me this time.
Now that the NBA season is over, speculation will start about who is going where in free agency, who will opt-out of their contracts and who will be traded during the offseason. For the first time in awhile the Minnesota Timberwolves have one of those story lines in their midst this summer, as rumors surrounding Kevin Love will be rampant until the situation is resolved.
Love went fairly public last week with his not-so-secret desire to be on another team, appearing on national media outlets and referring to the Timberwolves as “they” as opposed to “we”, and Flip Saunders has started to take veiled verbal shots at Love in recent public comments. So this is an unhappy marriage headed for a divorce, and it’s a matter of when not if it will happen.
Love has said he wants to go where he has a chance to win, and that can be expected since he has never been to the playoffs in his career. But his approach has been all wrong virtually from the start, and he often comes off as a phony whiner that would rather point fingers than take accountability as a team leader.
Tim Duncan has now joined an elite group with the fifth title of his career, and he has constantly been willing to take a back seat to others and just go about his business as arguably the best power forward of all-time. Humility on the court, low-key and uncontroversial in the media and winning at a high level…the essentials of an all-time great. Moving to a new team will not change Love’s persona, but he could take a lesson from Duncan’s career path and general approach.
I think Love should stay out of the public eye until he lands on another team, but I also don’t expect that to happen. The media tour will likely continue on some level, and as he gets questions about his future I expect Love to be fairly candid. There’s nothing wrong with being honest, but I for one will be happy to see Love become another team’s problem when things aren’t going well.