Is Kevin Love aspiring to be a San Antonio Spur?
MANILA, Philippines – Is Kevin Love aspiring to be a San Antonio Spur someday?
With a FIBA World championship and Olympic title tucked under his belt, the 25-year-old Minnestota Timberwolves star, who is in Manila as a special guest of the Master Game Face All-Star Basketball Challenge, was asked when he expects to add an NBA crown during a press briefing on Friday night, June 20.
Love, who could opt out of his contract with Minnesota next season but declined to entertain questions about trade talks, however, replied: “Ooh, that’s tough to say. (First) I would have to crack the playoffs. I’ve been coached by some great coaches and been with young teams.
“If there’s a way I can jump on that Spurs roster then I can get on that road to the NBA championship. Hopefully it becomes soon, I’m 25 now, maybe when I’m 26.”
Love was on the US squad bannered by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, a fellow UCLA alum, that captured the FIBA World gold medal four years ago in Istanbul, Turkey. (RELATED: Kevin Love cites ‘European Movement’ for shaping today’s NBA)
The 6-foot-10 power forward dubbed “Mr. Double Double” also was a member of Uncle Sam’s team starring the Miami Heat’s Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant that romped off with the Olympic men’s basketball crown in the 2012 London Games.
But despite success on the international scene, he has never reached the playoffs in his six seasons with the Timberwolves and has openly expressed his desire to look for greener pastures once the 2014-2015 season is over.
Love looked forward to another tour of international duty in August when Team USA competes in what has been renamed as the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
By placing second in last year's FIBA Asia men's basketball tournament, Gilas Pilipinas, as the national men’s basketball team is known, will also be seeing action in the event.
If both make the cut, Love and San Antonio’s small forward and budding star Kawhi Leonard, the NBA Finals MVP, could both be teammates in the Americans’ title-retention campaign in the land of bulls and matadors.
Both players have exhibited a high basketball IQ, a knack for rebounds, and are deadly beyond the arc, the latter being a premium in international play.
His advice for the Filipino basketeers, who are returning to the worlds for the first time after a 36-year absence since it was held in Manila in 1978, was “to take it all in stride, you don’t get too high on the highs or too low on the lows. Really work to push through what might come your way.”
Although Love said it would be tough, he liked their chances of retaining the title.
“It’s going to be a new team. We will have some young guys but we’ll have guys who played FIBA basketball before. Coach K (US national coach Mike Kryzkewski) and the coaches have been there before as well ,” he noted. “These should give us an advantage.”
Love’s reply to what Team USA’s biggest challenge in the FIBA World Cup is something that the newly-crowned NBA champion Spurs would love and appreciate: “The biggest challenge is just coming together, bringing their egos, but checking their egos at the door and all playing for our country.” - Rappler.com