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Blatant Homerism

Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love are the ‘Bruise Brothers’ and have the album cover to prove it (pic)

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With Kevin Love’s ticket already punched to the 2014 NBA All-Star Game after being named a starter last week, the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise has turned its focus to getting hulking center Nikola Pekovic named as a reserve for the showcase in New Orleans.

As the team attempted to sign Pekovic to a contract extension last offseason, Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders came up with the moniker, “The Bruise Brothers,” for the muscular center and Love, a nod to the characters portrayed by Jim Belushi and Dan Akroyd in the film, “The Blues Brothers.”

It first came to us when we recruited [Pekovic] this summer as a free agent,”  he said before Monday’s game in Chicago, according to a Star Tribune report. “This past week I said to our guys, ‘We should do something like this.’ So we went down to Down in the Valley (a Twin Cities record shop), got some albums and [put the kits together].”

The kits include a real LP, the sides being named “Side 42” and “Side 14,” the jersey numbers of the T’Wolves frontcourt colleagues.

The album jacket even features song titles. “You’re The Outlet To My Heart” and “It Happened At Shootaround” are among the track listings.

Love, Pek and Saunders all sounded off about the unorthodox but clever marketing campaign.

“I didn’t even know they were doing it until a couple of days ago, so it was pretty funny. A good idea,” Love said.

The only question remaining: which Wolves player corresponds to which brother?

“I would say Pek would have to be Jake and Kevin would have to be Elwood,” Saunders said.

Pekovic, who said he has not seen the movie, responded with another question.

“What?” he asked.

What indeed. What doesn’t require a “What?” is the compelling argument that Pekovic deserves a spot on the Western Conference All-Star team. Pek is averaging 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, a more-than-respectable stat line that merits Pekovic’s name being mentioned among the NBA’s best big men. Although a gimpy Pekovic did walk-off the court during Monday’s game against the Bulls midway through the first quarter due to a sore Achilles tendon. Pek is scheduled to see a doctor on Tuesday so his All-Star campaign may be over just as it started. It looks like Pek should be doing a little more baby-crawling during his weird workouts, huh?

(image via RandBall)

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