Kevin Love stars in new SportsCenter Ad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1R376Qt1enc

We know Kevin Love has been very marketable in the past in his past spots in Pepsi’s Uncle Drew  and Yahoo! Sports’ Fantasy Sports ads, but he has done it again. This time, he’s the in-studio barista for the SportsCenter anchors with his own signature drink: a Double-Double espresso. And you see the effects of Love’s concoction when the anchors take the air.

Here is Uncle Drew and here is the Yahoo! spot, in case you missed them.

(Also, Happy Birthday to Ricky Rubio today!)

Timberwolves Media Day: “It’s a New Season”

If there was one common theme among Timberwolves players at media day it was that this was a new season. The injuries, the missed games and consequential losses are things that the team is looking to put behind them as they move towards the coming season. In fact, most players brushed back most questions regarding the injuries with the same dismissive answers that make you wonder if they got together and planned out their answers. That’s alright. With so much promise to this coming season the Timberwolves have little reason to look back.

Even when pressed about what they thought of injuries already rearing their ugly head as it has with Chase Budinger, the player’s expressed sympathy for their teammate, but were far from dejected. Where some fans have already begun with the “Here we go again…” diatribe, the Timberwolves reminded us that injuries are a part of professional sports and that players will miss some games. In short, they’re not paranoid, and they’re not checking underneath their beds for the Injury Boogeyman every night.

Kevin Love, who arguably endured the most trying season of all last season, was perhaps the fastest to close the door on any questions concerning last season. When pressed about his relationship with former general manager David Kahn and Flip Saunders, Love just said that “The past is the past,” and went on to praise the job that Saunders has done so far. When asked if he had a message for fans for this coming season he just said that it was a new season– a sentiment many of his teammates also wished to stress to their fans.

Love and the Timberwolves know that how far they go will be dependent in part to the growth of their All-Star power forward. Rick Adelman said that he wanted to see Love expand his game to becoming more of a facilitator and more of a factor on defense. This wasn’t Adelman calling Love out, either. Love said he knew what his coach was talking about and added that he knew that he wanted him to setup a few more plays for teammates (Love called his approach to passing as able, but not always willing.) and — along with his teammates — work to improve as defenders. J.J. Barea added in his availability that Love’s leadership will be a big determinant of their success will also be Love’s growth as a leader and that it has to be him to step in to that role.

Adelman himself said that he is looking forward to having Kevin Martin in the fold, who has he coached during much of the guard’s career. Interestingly enough, Adelman said that Martin came to him last season asking when they were going to reunite. Adelman believed this to be indicative of how much Martin believes in his system and said that now that he has the personnel, he is looking forward to adding more Motion sets to their predominantly Pick ‘n Roll attack from a year ago in hopes of being able make their attack more dynamic.

Additionally, the team addressed concerns over their ability to get defensive stops by saying they expect their to be  a great focus in camp on team defense, not just individual defense. Much of that will be helped by communicating and playing together over time, or as some people may call it: chemistry. Despite their improved offense, the team is aware of their flaws on defense, but it’s encouraging that they appear to be on the same page about how to limit the damage on that end of the court.

If anything, there was a sense of excitement; not just over the new acquisitions or having a new decision maker at the helm, but over the return of last year’s injured players and finally getting an extended look at their three best players on the floor together. Also, you cannot understate the morale boost that Rick Adelman’s return to the bench gave the players. With their best players and one of the game’s best coaches in hand, the Timberwolves have all of the reasons in the world to look at the road ahead.

Weight Watchers

Of course, you can’t talk about the Timberwolves without talking about the weight of their players. Even I fell victim to this trap on Twitter when Love came up to the microphone with his face noticeably slimmed down in what appears to be the best shape of his career. Derrick Williams was also one of the offseason’s biggest losers, having dropped from 250 pounds to 235 pounds with the idea to be better-suited to play the small forward position in a  stacked power forward rotation. Yet, the funniest moment regarding player weight questions was when Shabazz Muhammad and Barea were on the stage together when Muhammad was asked about his weight and Barea turned his head and laughed.

It’s the offseason, JJ. We know it’s not important, but we are out of things to talk about at this point!

Way Too Early, Super-Tentative Opening Night Starting Lineup

This was one thing that Adelman let out that gave us a better idea of where the Timberwolves are headed in the wake of Budinger potentially missing extended time. Adelman said that the guards will probably be Ricky Rubio and Martin; Pekovic and Love at the four and five; but then finished off by saying “probably Corey at the three.” If Budinger winds up missing camp and/or preseason it might make sense to have Brewer start the season as the starting small forward to ease Budinger back into things.

So here is the way too early, super-tentative opening night starting lineup for the Timberwolves:

PG: Ricky Rubio (Duh.)

SG: Kevin Martin (Kinda duh now with Budinger possibly out.)

SF: Corey Brewer (Wasn’t so duh a week ago.)

PF: Kevin Love (Duh)

C: Nikola Pekovic (Duh.)

Ronny Turiaf is the Man (And You Won’t Convince Me Otherwise) 

Seriously. He’s my new favorite player and he hasn’t even played a minute of basketball for the Timberwolves.

Perhaps the best moment was when him and Derrick Williams were supposed to hold their press conferences jointly and Derrick was late, so we proceeded without him. Mid-question, Turiaf notices Derrick standing off to the side and tells him to join us. Derrick says he wanted to make sure he wasn’t interrupting, which is funny because this exchange probably interrupted things more than it would have if he just pulled up a chair next to him.

Turiaf and Williams went on fielding questions from the media for another seven minutes or so. Derrick had the same jaw surgery that Kevin Love had awhile back with the same doctor that corrected his bite and said that he was feeling great because it helped his breathing. Turiaf, was not only an entertaining interview, but also mentioned that he’s made money so he’s only here to make something special happen, which was cool.

As they were getting up to leave, Williams before Turiaf, Ronny calls out, “Thanks for joining us, Derrick!” You might’ve had to be there, but it was perfectly timed.

Love to the Fans: “They Need to Realize I Love Being Here.” And Fans Gonna Fan.

 

I should really know better than to post on this since I know that the people who want to be paranoid and believe what they want to no matter what I, or anyone else say. In fact, I should probably impose a posting moratorium on the subject after this one. Although, I thought I’d still share this because today Kevin Love told the AP’s Jon Krawcynski that he, “loves being in Minnesota,” as you can see in the tweet I embedded above.

Being a lifelong Minnesota sports fan I completely understand the mindset of fans, and the “Woe is me attitude.” But after twenty years of being a fan, I just can’t hold that victim mentality. I guess having your own misery to hold on to is better than having nothing to hold on to.

I also understand that the Yahoo! article with Adrian Wojnarowksi happened. Maybe that never rubbed me the wrong way because I didn’t disagree with anything Love said, but Love did also say that there were positive comments that were omitted from the story. This is possible because 1) Love has made positive comments about the team recently, and 2) omitting the positive comments really set the tone of Woj’s piece from a writing standpoint, and may or may not be reflective of any personal bias, but that’s just my opinion.

Upon RTing the above tweet on my account I immediately had my mentions flooded with tweets of, “But the Yahoo! article,” and “We’re Minnesota fans! Can you blame us?!” Which is just frustrating even though I know that there is likely nothing Love can say or do to convince fans that he really does like being here. I mean, if he says he likes it here, how do you know he doesn’t? So what if he says he wants to win; presumably, so do the Timberwolves.

I suppose this was a waste of 400 words since the people who didn’t have an issue with Love’s comments are just going to go on with their lives while the people who are dead set on being negative and paranoid will go on not believing Love no matter what he says. Take him at his word, or don’t– I guess it really doesn’t matter.

Love not going oversees… Yet

Contrary to what Tom reported yesterday, Kevin Love has now decided against signing in Turkey with Besiktas.

Love claims that playing abroad “is still very much an option” but playing in Turkey just wasn’t the “right decision for me.”

Besiktas of Turkey is a club team based in Istanbul and have already signed Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets. Other targets for the team include Chicago Bulls’ forwards Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng.

Kevin Love: ZINGER!

Since Kevin Love is the only Timberwolf doing anything really noteworthy in this lock out, we’ll continue with the 3rd straight Howlin’ T-Wolf post about him.

From K-Love’s twitter:

Appreciate Jesse Rambis doing work on the beach volleyball courts this morning. Gotta say, he might be the best Rambis I’ve been coached by.

Naturally, Love clarified several minutes (and doubtless 450 billion replied tweets) later:

Haha I was being facetious people. Have nothing but love for the whole Rambis fam. You know this! #whysoserious

Definitely sounds like Kevin Love…throwing out a wicked burn that he didn’t really mean; one that went over the heads of most of his followers.

Still. My buddy and I may or may not have read that tweet, then stared at each other wide-eyed with “NO HE DIDN’T!” stares on our faces, before agreeing that it would absolutely be a mistake if I didn’t share both tweets on here. So, there you go.

Kevin Love and his Twitter account continue to entertain us all.

Kevin Love's ready for some football

Via ESPN:

Former UCLA basketball players Kevin LoveRussell Westbrook and Baron Davis were there, along with Olympic sprint champion Maurice Green and former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, turning UCLA’s sideline into an ESPY-like red carpet.


“A tight end, a wide out and a strong safety,” Neuheisel said, pointing first at Love and then at Westbrook then at Davis as the three tossed around a football.

Love, too, put out the verbal out of work sign when he chimed in with “size 18 for me.”

“A tight end, a wide out and a strong safety,” Neuheisel said, pointing first at Love and then at Westbrook then at Davis as the three tossed around a football“A tight end, a wide out and a strong safety,” Neuheisel said, pointing first at Love and then at Westbrook then at Davis as the three tossed around a football“A tight end, a wide out and a strong safety,” Neuheisel said, pointing first at Love and then at Westbrook then at Davis as the three tossed around a footbal

At Least SOMEONE's Enjoying Themselves

adam-morrison-kevin-love.jpg (560×335)

Why Kevin Love looks so happy to be locked out is a MYSTERY to me

This lockout feels like the first hour of a very long shift at a job you hate. At this point, you haven’t missed out on anything yet. But looking ahead, everything appears so bleak and discouraging that you have to complain about it.

However, I think it’s clear the owners are getting somewhere.

After all, the players are obviously reeling. Turning a bunch of millionaires loose with nothing but time on their hands? They are locked out of their practice facilities. They can’t have trainers and coaches screaming at them all day. In fact, they can’t talk to their trainers or coaches. The horrors. How awful for them. They are like a direction-less bunch of sheep; sheep with nothing to do but plank Porsches and hang out on the beach with women so hot they were listed as a threat to the planet in “An Inconvenient Truth”.

I know you just clicked that link and you are wondering the same thing as me: “are those women really really tall, or is Kevin actually a lot shorter than he is listed?” I wish I could tell you.

But seriously, Kevin? Shaving your head into an awesome bro-hawk? Signing with Jose Cuervo as a sponsor? Taking up professional beach volleyball? Can you try to at least LOOK like this lockout is bumming you out? Just for the rest of us who are stuck here in the midwest fantasizing about the next time we might actually get to see you in uniform. And I’m not talking about a Cuervo uniform, either, unless you can somehow convince the NBA to broadcast your beach volleyball games on League Pass.

Love was having so much fun, in fact, that it became necessary to bring him down a couple notches. WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY, KEVIN? PLAYERS IN THE NBA WERE CHEERING AGAINST THE HEAT?! KEVIN LOVE HATES THE HEAT, EVERYBODY! HE SAYS THEY ARE AWFUL PEOPLE! SPREAD IT AROUND!

(Sigh) I shouldn’t even have to do this, but Kevin’s exact wording:

[Did people around the league enjoy seeing Miami lose?] Oh yeah, great amount of joy out of it. Plus, for me, they say nice guys, good guys finish last. But Dallas, they just had a slew of great guys and veterans on their team that made for just a great team. It wasn’t just two, three, four guys on the team, like Miami I kind of felt it was. Around the league, it was kind of a consensus that guys were happy.

No, really? Guys were happy because there were some great guys in Dallas who finally won a championship…and because the Mavericks were a team rather than a group of talented individuals? That sounds ridiculous! That sounds like…the rest of America. How absurd to find that players are human beings too.

This lockout is turning us all into idiots. Actually worse…this lockout is turning us into junior high gossip girls.

So you know what? This stuff is unequivocally awesome. You know that long-ass shift I mentioned above? Love is like the coworker who makes it all a little less crappy. If this lockout manages to bum out Kevin Love, we will have a truly serious catastrophe on our hands.

Ignore all of us, 42. Party on.