Kevin Love: J.J. Barea's bench behavior "kind of pisses me off"
Where's the love? K-Love and Barea have a history of clashing.
Kevin Love put his teammates on blast following last night's heartbreaking 104-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns at the Target Center.
"We can't have two guys sitting at the end of the bench, who play good minutes, just sitting there and not getting up at timeouts," Love told reporters after the game. "We all need to be in this together. That kind of pisses me off. We're supposed to be a team."
"It's to a point that where those two guys, if and when I did that last year... they would have aired me out," Love went on. "It's two guys we expect more from them, and I think they expect more from themselves."
"I'm not trying to single anybody out, and I don't want to make it bigger than it is. That was a team we needed to beat tonight. Even guys that didn't play any minutes, we need to have a team on the bench that's really in it together," he said.
Though Love didn't name names, all indications are the "two guys" he's referring to are Dante Cunningham, who played a season-low 11 minutes last night, and backup point guard J.J. Barea.
Love and Barea have a history of clashing dating back to nearly two years ago when they had to be physically separated on the bench during a loss in Sacramento. More recently, Love called out the entire bench, Barea included, following a similarly heartbreaking two-point loss to Dallas on December 30, telling reporters, "We need to get our bench going... I don't know what we need to do to light a fire under them, but five points [from the bench] is not okay."
Barea didn't take that round of criticism lying down, telling reporters, "I definitely don't like it."
But the 2013-14 Timberwolves have bigger problems than the Love-Barea beef. Last night's loss dropped them to a ghastly 0-10 in games decided by four points or less, and a season that began with high hopes is approaching its midway point with the team still on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.