Minnesota will be better once Love’s shadow disappears


A trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers is inevitable. Once August 23rd rolls around (the first day Andrew Wiggins is available to be traded), I expect a deal to get done, and I couldn’t be happier for Minnesota.

If you don’t know by now, I’m from Minnesota and have a great interest in the T’Wolves. I root for the team and I want the team to do well (like make the playoffs, just once though). Kevin Love isn’t a bad guy, but he hasn’t exactly been Minnesota’s favorite athlete the past two months.

There is no question Love is a top NBA talent. His rebounding is sound, three-point stroke is smooth, and his outlet passes are phenomenal. His coat drive that he puts on every December in Minnesota generates thousands of coats for kids who need one. All that stuff is great. But the way he has handled this whole situation about being traded and how he wants out of Minnesota has been pretty unprofessional and immature.

I’m all for a guy getting what he wants. But when he makes $14+ million per-year and can’t get his team (which is pretty solid) to the playoffs or even to the .500 mark, that says something about him, not as a player, but as a leader. He clearly hasn’t been one. Ask Dante Cunningham and J.J. Barea about him. Those two guys have issues of their own, but it’s clear that Love hasn’t been the leader the franchise needs, especially if it wants to turn their luck around.

I wish Love best of luck in his future endeavors, but I won’t miss his stat-stuffing box scores. I won’t miss his 20-rebound games or his 80-foot outlet passes. That’s all side stuff when it comes to winning. Minnesota was awful when he came here, and when he leaves, they’ll be better off. While Minnesotans are awaiting the rival of the 2014 No. 1 pick (Wiggins), I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help Love pack his bags for Cleveland. It’s just another superstar leaving this forgotten state for a “better” place.

But what makes this superstar different is the way he will leave. Kevin Garnett was traded in the summer of 2007, but he didn’t demand that he be traded, even after he won a MVP award, scored over 19,000 points, led his team to the playoffs eight times, and made it to the Western Conference Finals one time. Garnett was the last great player to play for the T’Wolves. He epitomized everything a leader should be. He did every single thing he could to help this franchise, and when he could do no more, the T’Wolves sent him to Boston, where he was a difference-maker and helped the Celtics win a championship that year.

Now, a 25-year-old star player has had enough, after six consecutive losing seasons, and thinks he can demand a trade, by threatening the same franchise that decided to give him a $60 million contract, by saying he’ll walk after the 2014-2015 season. The sense-of-entitlement going on in today’s world in something else, I’ll tell you. I’m guilty of it, too.

I’m glad I saw the quote from Wiggins saying he “wants to play where he is wanted”. That gives me some hope. I know he says that now, but hopefully he stays true to it.

His T’Wolves teammates will be happy to have him.

The state of Minnesota will be happy to have him as well. And we’ll all be better off.

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