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Kevin Love tired of waiting for Timberwolves to get good

Jul 9, 2012, 7:58 AM EST

Kevin Love AP

Teams rarely become good overnight in the NBA. They build it up over time — think of the Thunder model, who took steps forward every season the past three years. What Miami did is the aberration.

Minnesota could be one of those teams on the rise, but Kevin Love wants management to speed up the process.

Love is in Las Vegas for Team USA camp and being around guys like that — many of them teammates — has Love frustrated, he told Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

“My patience is not high,” Love said. “Would yours be, especially when I’m a big proponent of greatness surrounding itself with greatness? All these [Team USA] guys seem to have great players around them.

“It’s tough seeing all these guys that are young and older who have all played in the playoffs. When they start talking about that, I have nothing to talk about. If I don’t make the playoffs next year I don’t know what will happen.”

Nothing. That’s what will happen.

Next season you start your first deal after your rookie and you’ll make $12.9 million and $62 million total over the next four. Now, you can opt out after season three and you did that to keep pressure on Minnesota management — a smart move — but basing what you will do in three years off what happens next season is foolish.

And you should be on an improved team next year. Ricky Rubio will return from his knee injury (at some point) and you’ll have a star young point guard again. Chase Budinger provides some athleticism. Management added Brandon Roy, which has some upside. Derrick Williams should improve.

And you should be a borderline playoff team under Rick Adelman. If Love wants to make sure Minnesota makes the playoffs, he should spend this offseason improving his defense.

But speaking out now and again to keep pressure on management? Good strategy.

  1. ccshocktalk - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    I wonder if team USA was all college players, would they transfer in 3’s to the same school if they didn’t already play together. I don’t blame guys for wanting to have a good team and enjoy winning, but I’m just curious if this were college kids doing this, could they opt out of their scholarship to form a dominating team and pull down 3-4 titles. Just curious…

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      If it were all college guys 90% of them would be heading for the NBA at the end of the season so probably not. Then again they shouldn’t have to go to college to begin with if they didn’t want to, but that’s a whole other story.

  2. letangusespertplus - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    self righteous kurt

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Putting Miami and Minnesota in the same sentence?

    In the two season prior to the 2010-2011 season, the Heat had 47 and 43 wins. Then, since 2004, they only finished with less than 42 wins once. Then, between 96/97 and 00/01, they had three 50 win seasons and one 60 win season.

    Oh, and there was that 2005-2006 Championship thrown in there too.

    The Heat got good when Pat Riley came to town in 1995. Been good ever since. End of story.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      People on this site accuse some Heat fans of getting on board only after LeBron signed. I think this website is the true band wagoner. Kurt, do you really think the Heat was an overnight success starting in July 2010?

      In the 14 seasons between 1995/96 and 2009/10, the Heat won 7 Division Championships, two Conference Championships, and one World Championship.

      In the two Spoelstra coached seasons prior to 2010, they were the 5th seed while all the moves they were making had nothing to do with winning those seasons, and everything to do with clearing cap space for 2010.

      During those years, the Heat had Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O’Neal. And in 2005/06, they had both.

      They had a 4 year run of a Knicks/Heat rivalry that was the most intense rivalry in the league at it’s time.

      Since the Wolves got Kevin Garnett, the same year the Heat got Riley by the way, the DNQ’d for the playoffs, had seven straight 1st round exits, then lost in the WCFs, and then had 8 straight DNQs.

      I mean, are you seriously comparing?

      • blueintown - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM

        Dude, relax. Miami got the ring. You can let the guard down now. He’s referring to instantly transforming a team overnight (not a franchise), which is exactly what Miami did.

    • mfiore123177 - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      what was the record in 07-08

      what did they have 15 wins—fact is you cant even enjoy the championship they just won because it is more of a relief—sure Lebron is great and so is wade and Bosch and the Heat but the way they won leaves the fan bases of all the other teams thinking they didnt deserve it——-jordan and pippen were drafted together same with westbrook and durant — the bulls then added an old rodman that nobody wanted————respect? eh the heat dont deserve repect personally only their game does which is viewed as more of a coup — its ok though all other teams and players will try to follow suit and build mega teams———-

      • blueintown - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Holy stupid.

      • dunkindan - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        Dwayne Wade and Shaq were both injured. Jason Williams was running point…. Nothing to do with Management if your big money starts go down.

      • censoredpost - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        Rodman may have been older but he averaged 15.5 boards and was a lock down defender his 3 years with the bulls. Plenty of team wanted him if I remember correctly. The Bulls traded a somewhat skilled big man (Purdue) for him, and as we all know, went on to set an NBA record for wins and grabbed 3 Pyrite Balls as well.

  4. beagle11 - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    Considering he was the teams high draft pick of the last few years and “superstar”, isn’t it on him to “lead” his team to the playoffs? Not saying the wolves have surrounded him with the best talent but when are these kids going to start taking responsibility for losing? Can you imagine me leaving my family because I’m unhappy with how hard I have to work?

  5. thekingdave - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Except for that year they really, really sucked and Pat Riley ditched his coaching duties to scout Michael Beasley during the season. But yeah they’re an institution of greatness.

  6. loungefly74 - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    yikes…Kurt spittin’ the truth on Love. yeah…he will AND SHOULD stay in Minny. they have potential.

  7. diabloryno - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Be a leader, Kevin. Not a follower. Just because other teams are forcing teams hands doesn’t mean you need to. You are not LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Deron Williams, etc. If you want championship talent around you will have to be patient. If you want “playoff” talent thats good for first and second round exits when can go get some guys around you like the Nets did with Deron. Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace isn’t scaring the Bulls, Heat, or Celtics.

  8. aboogy123456 - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Kevin, why don’t you get better at basketball first and then worry about championships? Did you not realize this when you signed your extension last year? If you are gonna be the best player on your team then your not going to the championship.

    The team has been doing a good job improving and it seems like players want to play for Adelman. Be a little patient, Dwight howard and the other big stars are not just going to sign in Minnesota, and you should have known that.

    • thesixersbench - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      “Kevin, why don’t you get better at basketball first and then worry about championships? Did you not realize this when you signed your extension last year? If you are gonna be the best player on your team then your not going to the championship.”

      I’m sorry, but this is so bogus. Kevin Love was an absolute MONSTER last season. He played close to 40 minutes a night, every night, and destroyed his stat sheet with the same frequency. Until Rubio got hurt the Wolves WERE making the playoffs. Rubio’s injury changed everything – Wolves got sucker-punched, lost all their momentum, limped through the final 1/3 of the season.

      He’s simply voicing his frustration with being a perennial doormat and – as the author noted – continuing to apply the pressure to management – the notorious David Kahn (Johnny Flynn, 5 overall, baby!).

      You’re outta your element, Donny.

  9. bobby2478 - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    You’ll note he talks about getting into the playoffs like that in and of itself is a prize. Mediocre teams are happy just to get to the playoffs. Championship teams only care about one thing: Winning it ALL. Who cares if you make the playoffs and lose in the first or second round for several years? The impatience that Adelman and Kahn have shown this offseason is concerning, they were set to give up on their highest pick in franchise history in Williams for a 32 year old Gasol who only has a few years left in him.

    Finally they show some promise and build up a roster full of young talent, then want to dump most of them and bring in a bunch of veterans. Submarining your future by trading away young promising talent for the sake of picking up a bunch of overpaid veterans is just plain stupid for the Twolves. If they were 1 or 2 players away from being a Championship contender then perhaps the move would make sense, but they are nowhere near that level.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Kurt throws Miami out there, saying they “became good overnight” like its a fact. This site is supposed to give information and informed opinions. All Kurt did here was reinforce a ridiculous misconception about the Heat franchise.

    You know who “became good overnight”? The Boston Celtics. Spare me the 17 championships. None of us were even born for most of them. They were dog crap for 18-20 years until Ainge (coincidentally with a big assist from Minnesota’s Kevin McHale) made a couple huge moves in 2007/2008. The Boston Celtics were the aberration. The Boston Celtics got good overnight. And Kevin Love’s franchise is who they have to thank for it.

    But throwing Boston under the bus doesn’t drive readers does it?

  11. tashkalucy - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Why do I see Pao Gasol going to the Wolves and the kid form UCLA returning to LA as the Lakers work to get a bit younger?

    • scalfor3 - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      why in the world would minnesota agree to that? lakers fans….

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        Right now pau is still a better player than Love. He can play defense, is smarter. Love would help lakers out with youth in the long term but as a lakers fan I’d rather just keep pau for defense because we are all in this year.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Yeah because Minnesota wants to make that trade. Trade Kevin Love who is getting better and better year each and is in the talk of being a top 15 if not, top 10 player in the league for a guy who is making 13 million dollars the next 2 season on the down side of his career. Maybe we should throw in Ricky Rubio too, Laker fans.

      • tashkalucy - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        This was not my idea.

        Last year the Wolves called the Lakers about Pao for Love.

        I can see the talks restarting.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        I’m guessing that didn’t happen, Love is the only reason Adelman came here. Oh and the money too, but Adelman isn’t going to come here (and he’s the one calling all the shots, now Kahn) to move his best piece for Gasol.

    • scalfor3 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      gotta disagree there. love is better now and obviously will be better in the future

    • thesixersbench - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      “Right now pau is still a better player than Love. He can play defense, is smarter. Love would help lakers out with youth in the long term but as a lakers fan I’d rather just keep pau for defense because we are all in this year.”

      It’s official – you’re insane.

    • cullenand99 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Gotta love Lakers fans and their bogus trade scenarios. Keeps me entertained lol

  12. therealhtj - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Minny MAY be a playoff team if Rubio comes back before Christmas and is back to form. Love was already out the door by the time his opt out kicked in when the team refused to fully max him out, so why is this shocking anyone? He still would’ve probably gone on to a bigger market even if they gave him a KD sized extension.

    C’mon Twolves fans, this ain’t your first Rodeo, you know the drill with All-NBA power forwards already, don’t ya?

    • dysraw1 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      with all the teams becoming more competitive i don’t think that K. Love is so far off base, i mean who was gonna go to bklyn. to watch the Nets struggle through the season

  13. tashkalucy - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    He signed his max, guaranteed, long-term contract, and now he’s unhappy about not winning.

    Want to tell us why he’s different then Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and a dozen others?

    When a league caters to its veteran players that have no integrity, it encourages the young players to take the same actions.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      He didn’t sign a max contract, he wasn’t given the 5 year contract. He signed a 3 year contract with an option for a 4th year.

      • tashkalucy - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        OK, it wasn’t a max contract.

        But he got a huge guaranteed contract and is now making the kind of comments that people like Anthony and Howard started to make a year or two before they demanded a trade.

        Do you think I’m making this up?

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        No, I don’t think your making it up. Not at all. Heck, Love is behind a line of 18,000 here in Minnesota who have been clamoring for a winning product since MV3 took us to the West Finals. 8 years ago

  14. ccshocktalk - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    In all reality the Timberwolves are in a city that is not an easy sell to anyone. Even when KG was there his best side kicks were Stephon before he lost his mind, Latrell “I can’t feed my family on $12,000,000.00 contract” Sprewell, and Sam , I look like an alien, Cassell.

    In my book Love is no KG, he’s really good, but a totally different style of player..it’s comparing apples and oranges so that becomes a moot point, but the help he gets from Ricky Rubio is better than Cassell, and if Derrick Williams develops into a decent player he may be as helpful as the coach better, Sprewell, was.

    Either way, the only way the Wolves are getting better is through the draft…so hang tight Kevin, you signed for the long haul…you’re getting paid to work, so keep doing your work…and if you want to play with better players, shut up, play strong, play hard and in 4 years you can choose to go wherever you want to go. Until then, do what the rest of us do, work hard, collect the check, bank it and when you’re free to go, go wherever you want to be.

  15. jsally430 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    he’s turning into quite the crybaby he needs to be a little still become the best player he can possibly be maybe tale derrick Williams under his wing teach him how to be a pro oh wait he’s too busy whining about the playoffs and every foul called on him or not called for him to be a pro.

  16. ras1tafari - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    If he wants to play on a good Minnesota team, he better learn how to skate and play some goalie.

  17. opinevain - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    I can easily say that if Rubio didn’t get hurt they would’ve made the playoffs. Rubio was the reason they were able to compete last year

  18. personalspaceinvader - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    It’s funny that he references “the other players” on Team USA. It brings to mind the image of LeBron, Kobe, and Melo all talking about how great their teammates are and Kevin Love just sitting there sulking.

    • scalfor3 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      i dont think melo is aware that he has teammates

  19. omniusprime - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    If Kevin Love wants to play for a good team he’d better leave Minnesota. It would be cool to see Love come back to LA, this time with the Lakers. Then the Lakers could ship Gasol off to exile in Minnesota, the NBA equivalent of Siberia. Love’s intensity and youthful exuberance are exactly what the aged Lakers need, they’ve become too complacent and lackluster since winning their last title in 2010.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      Why would the Wolves trade Kevin Love for Gasol. Some of you are just bleeping idiots.

      Minnesota does have interest in Gasol, just not for Love. They were offering Derrick Williams for him.

  20. ndnut - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    How about the Clippers? Love/Griffin would be a beast combo!

  21. itsthemelman82 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    This is what the NBA has come to? Every other week someone is complaining about needing more “help” or they want out? This is so cheesy for basketball to go down this road. That being said, Love would so much better at PF on the Bulls than Carlos Boozer.

  22. dunkindan - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Can’t wait for David Lee and Andrew Bynum to shut him down this season when he comes to Oakland.

    • dunkindan - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      *Bogut OOOPS

  23. lakerluver - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Translation: I WANT TO GO BACK HOME AND PLAY FOR THE LAKERS!!

    • hannsta - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      His home is in Oregon. One year of college at UCLA does not make it your home.

  24. misterdreamer119 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Why did he sign that extension then?

  25. southpaw77 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    I knew it! I told my friend, watch, a week and all those mercenaries will be in Kevin’s ear about leaving Minnesota.
    CP3, Melo and LBJ. How about look in the mirror and step your game up! LBJ finally stopped pointing fingers and worked on his post game and got better, I suggest Kevin do the same. The team can’t go from lottery to champs overnight in cold weather/small markets.
    The Cavs when they got Lebron had to tank and build up from a lottery team. They coulda took the next step had Lebron went all in and picked up a phone when free agents wanted to know if he was staying, then they’d sign in Cleveland.
    Work on your game like the OKC boys did, get better and with the cap space the Wolves can go out and sign the players to put around you or try to take the easy way out like Melo and still go out in the 1st round.

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