Call a whambulance: Kevin Love blasts T-Wolves management in interview [UPDATE]
Kevin Love: "I would love to compete for a championship in Minnesota, but ..."
Less than a year after signing a four-year, $62-million contract extension (well, really three years, with an option for a fourth), Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love is already hinting he wants out.
As he's been wont to do throughout his career, K-Love dished to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski during the T-Wolves' recent stop in Philadelphia. During their conversation, Love took repeated shots at the T-Wolves organization for not giving him a five-year max deal earlier this year, and for changing the mediocre personnel around him too often, seemingly without rhyme or reason.
By the end of Wojnarowski's piece, one can't help but feel an urge to call a whambulance and send it to K-Love's downtown riverfront condo.
Here's some of K-Love's choicest quotes from the interview:
"I don't know who labels people stars, but even Glen Taylor said: I don't think Kevin Love is a star, because he hasn't led us to the playoffs. I mean, it's not like I had much support out there. That's a tough pill to swallow."
On the hand he recently broke while doing knuckle pushups: "Even people in my own organization were asking if it was a legitimate injury, people calling my honesty and integrity into question. And that's what really hurt me."
On the T-Wolves' annual roster turnover: "You walk into the locker room every year, and it's completely turned over. There's new guys everywhere. And then it happens again and again. You start to wonder: Is there really a plan here? Is there really any kind of a ... plan?"
On the organization's decision not to give him a five-year max contract extension earlier this year: "I have a very, very good memory, and I always remember the people who have done right by me, and the people who have done wrong by me. It will be embedded in my brain, and something I won't forget about. There's no telling what will happen. I would love to compete for a championship in Minnesota, but ..."
On what factors he'll consider when deciding whether to opt out of his contract following the 2014-15 season: "I'm looking at my contract in the eye of two years from now, and if I haven't been to the playoffs - or it's been one playoff berth - well, it's going to be tough to say, 'Oh well, I'm going to stay here and continue to rebuild.'"
On the organization's decision to trade Al Jefferson in the summer of 2010: "We should've at least tried it, especially with the way things were going. I was beginning to figure things out in my second season. Everybody knew what Al was capable of, and is still capable of. It was definitely worth the risk of seeing what would happen. If it didn't work, then go another way. But we never tried it."
On being a white guy in a sport thought of as being dominated by blacks: "I obviously know the color of my skin, especially in this predominately black game. I was tagged early as the prototypical white player, the guy with the intangibles - the smart player, the guy who did all the right things. As time went on, people started labeling me as, 'Hey this guy is a pretty good player.' And it started to become, 'Maybe he can be a great player.'"
"Randy Wittman told me not to shoot 3-pointers. That got me very uncomfortable. There were certain labels tagged on me very early in my career, spots on the floor where I felt uncomfortable. I continued to put myself out there in those spots."
"That's the crazy thing about this: There's this whole [expletive]-up, cynical thing going on in my head, where I love people telling me what I can't do, telling me this is what you're going to be, this is your ceiling. Just everybody projecting for me. I'm not breaking any bounds or barriers saying this, but I think all kids - white, black, purple, whatever color - in basketball should never put a limit on themselves."
"I've had plenty of people tell me who I was going to be, and I feel like, for the time being, I've exceeded that."
Let's hope the T-Wolves make a deep playoff run or two between now and the summer of 2015, at which time K-Love signs another lucrative extension and we can all chuckle about the Wojnarowski interview. If not -- and assuming K-Love is right in suggesting that Kahn didn't give him a five-year contract because he wants to save the franchise's one and only max deal for Ricky Rubio ("It was a projection over a sure thing," Love said) -- then, in the not-too-distant future, we'll probably have to content ourselves with watching Ricky Rubio and his band of merry white scrubs.
But in any event, with this season still in its early stages and K-Love under contract for two more seasons afterward, it's a little early to wail and gnash teeth about the prospect of his departure.
:::: UPDATE ::::
12:07 p.m. -- During an informal news conference after today's T-Wolves shootaround, Kevin Love backed off some of the comments he made in the Yahoo interview.
"Love said he meant everything he said, but added he said lots of positives about organization too that wasn't included in Yahoo! story...
Whether he and Rubio are headed on same path as KG-Steph 15 years ago, KL said he won't begrudge RR getting paid all that he can get...
Love talked to Adelman and Kahn about his comments yesterday, so shortly after that story hit the Web...
Love said he intends to talk to Glen Taylor about his comments as well...
Love: "I said how I felt. I didn't mean to alienate my team, my coaches, the organization or more importantly the fans."...
Love: "I want to be here for five years. I'd love to end my career as a Timberwolf."
In addition to having a knack for rebounding, looks like K-Love is also an elite hedger. With skills like that, perhaps Kevin, like Sacramento Mayor and former Phoenix Sun Kevin Johnson, has a future in politics when his playing days are though.
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