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kevin love


The perfect Kevin Love sequence:

Rips the rebound away from Biyombo, runs the court, drills a three, gets back on D.

This is Kevin Love, Oregon kid, son of Stan Love, Oregon Duck. He’s related to Mike Love, Beach Boy, and Stan Love’s brother. That’s old news.

The new news is he’s a part of LeBron’s personal Big Three. And he’s looking like the force he was meant to be, a championship force.

How does a kid who had every chance at being one of those entitled millennials who expects life to hand him a ticket to ride turn into a player driven to excel?

There he is as a young guy, maybe middle school, son of an NBA player just like Steph Curry, feeling the pressure building on him to be The One. Instead of coasting along on any coattails, he starts pushing.

It wasn’t always pretty when you hear young men talk about themselves in the third person, like, “Don’t touch Kevin Love’s ball.” Now it looks more like, “Try and touch the ball.”

This was a kid destined to follow in his dad’s footsteps, a dad from LA who played college ball in Eugene. K-Love flipped the script when he flew out of Portland for UCLA.

One college season had fans wondering if he had the guts to make an NBA team matter. Or would he end up as this generation’s Christian Laettner of Duke. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Both spent their early years in Minnesota, with Laettner moving on to a handful of other teams where he seemed able to play with less effort each season.

Laettner and Love, too pretty to care?

kevin love


kevin love











Where’s the hard edge on these guys?

Where’s the killer instinct?

From a distance it looked like Love might have some great years, eat his way out of the NBA, then spend the next few decades explaining how it happened.

Something else happened to Kevin Love.

kevin love


That something was diet and exercise.

You gotta believe in his results.


Some of Love’s previous coaches, who included ideal mentors like Kevin McHale, Bill Laimbeer and Kurt Rambis, will tell you Love initially resisted the changes they presumed he should make. Love never figured himself to be a serious post threat because his athleticism would limit him.


Hence the now-famous offseason program in Los Angeles with trainer Rob McClanaghan. There are videos of his yoga training. There are before and after pictures that are usually reserved for “The Biggest Loser.” (OK, maybe not that extreme, but if they made an NBA version of that show, Love would’ve been a favorite to win it.)

He finished last season at 265 pounds. He began this season at 240. He took advantage of the extra time the lockout offered and he came back a different player. A player whose legs weren’t weighing him down. A player who dared take on the heaviest of minutes, even in this nonstop season.

Suddenly that post game he shied away from seemed quite possible.

Draymond Green says he learns more about basketball watching the WNBA instead of athletic NBA stars who can run, jump, and shoot. He’s talking about spacing, passing, and positioning. He’s talking about basketball IQ and how to be a professional basketball player.

He’s talking about Kevin Love.

This is the year we’ll all be talking about an NBA title for the Cleveland Cavs. And it sounds lovely.

Could be we’ll hear Kevin Love over the next few decades talking about LeBron James teaching the art of manning the hell up. I’ll be listening and learning, how about you? Leave a comment.

About David Gillaspie
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