Sorry, Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Love sounds as good as gone
Kevin Love made his first public comments since rumors and reports began to surface a few weeks ago that indicated the current Minnesota Timberwolves star intended to opt-out of the fourth year of his deal after next season and head elsewhere. And for the Timerwolves, the comments, while not a be-all, end-all, certainly do not lend any hope that Love will be a Timberwolves player for the long haul. Hardly a shocking or surprising development, but to hear Love talk about it certainly illustrates the direness of the situation.
Love’s comments on ESPN’s “SportsNation” on Wednesday comes on the heels of Love taking a star-crossed tour of Boston a little more than a week ago, a trip which he attempted to downplay as simply a vacation.
Simply stated, Love gave the impression that it is a foregone conclusion that he is as good as gone, albeit without actually saying it, deferring any inquiries about his future to his agent.
“Uh, my agent is handling everything at this point,” he said, via a Star Tribune report.
When pressed, Love put it plainly, saying he just wants to win.
“I got some advice that six years in the league, I’m 25 years old, I’m hopefully heading into my prime,” the power forward stated. “I’m working as hard as I possibly can and I’m hoping everything works out for all parties involved.”
Later, in a separate interview with FOX Sports, Love made a pretty telling comment about his thoughts on his future with the T’Wolves when he referred to his current team and teammates as “they” when asked about the organization’s future.
“If they’re healthy, they can do a lot of damage, Love said. “I think they’re very close.”
Love also weighed in on some relatively critical comments made about him by teammate Ricky Rubio and team president (and now head coach) Flip Saunders.
Rubio questioned Love’s leadership abilities while Saunders, addressing whether or not Love should be unhappy about not reaching the playoffs during his six seasons, said no player has a right to be frustrated abut a team’s position, adding that if a player isn’t part of the solution, they are part of the problem.
Love did not seem to appreciated either guy’s commentary, but tried to spin it as a motivational tool.
“When [Saunders] says something like that — same thing as Ricky talking about me being a leader — I just continue to work hard, keep on the grind and use some of it as fuel,” Love said. “But also what they said, it holds true some of it.”
With teams including Boston, Chicago, Golden State, Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix and Sacramento reportedly making a push for Love, the draft coming up on June 26 as well as Love’s latest comments, it certainly appears to be the beginning of the end for Love in Minnesota. The only thing left to determine is how ugly, acrimonious and drawn-out the split will be. Saunders probably should treat Love like a Band-Aid one rips off quickly. Sure, it stings at first, but it’s better to let the wound see the light of day and heal rather than waiting too long to take a peek at the festering ugliness that lies beneath.