In 2009 Kevin Love was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, on draft night he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the third overall selection O.J. Mayo. That draft night trade is one of the worst trades in NBA history. Mayo is arrogant, flashy and pretty much uncoachable. Kevin Love just may be the best Power Forward of all time. So why doesn’t anyone know who Kevin Love is?

1. Hes’ White:

Love wont say it, the media wont say it…so I will. In his rookie season he was not selected to the NBA All Star Weekend Rookie Challenge. Though he finished his rookie the season ninth in the league in rebounding, first among rookies, and third in total offensive rebounds. He led all rookies with 29 double-doubles, the most by a Timberwolves rookie in franchise history. He was first in offensive rebound percentage. He was the first rookie to lead the league since Hakeem Olajuwon did it in 1984 Somehow he was only named to the 2009 NBA All-Rookie Second Team and finished a distant sixth in Rookie of the Year voting, O.J. Mayo was second.

The following season he finished the season ranked as the NBA’s best rebounder per 48 minutes (18.4), besting Dwight Howard (18.3)…But he has no flashy nickname. He became the 19th player to record a “30–30” game, when he recorded 31 points along with a career-high 31 rebounds, a franchise record and were also the most by a player in an NBA game since Charles Barkley’s 33 rebounds in a game in 1996. He scored a career-high 43 points and had 17 rebounds in December. Kevin Love had 34 straight double-doubles, averaging 21.4 points and a league best 15.5 rebounds per game and shooting 44% from 3 point range, yet with these numbers he was not voted to the All-Star game nor was he selected as an All-Star reserve, he had to be selected by Commissioner David Stern as a replacement for the injured Yao Ming. He achieved four 30-point, 20-rebound games in the season, and tied Minnesota’s team records for made and attempted free throws. In March Love’s consecutive double-double streak ended at 53 games. It was the longest streak since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, surpassing Malone’s 51-game streak from 1979 to 1980,  yet he is not signed to Air Jordan.

Love’s 51 point game broke Kevin Garnett’s franchise high of 47 points, shooting 7 of 11 from three-point range and 16 of 27 from the field, 14 rebounds, a steal and a block in only 49 minutes and became the first player to score 51+ points and grab 14+ boards since Dirk Nowitizki in 2004 yet he is not a household name.

2011-2012: Love began the season with 15 double double, the first player to do so since 1992. To further punctuate this Kevin Love participated 2012 NBA All Star Three-Point Shootout and defeated Kevin Durant in the final tie-breaking round to win the contest. Now, Kevin Love is also the NBA three-Point Champion, yet he is not a video game cover athlete. He became the first player in NBA history to record 35 points, 10 rebounds and hit five three-pointers in consecutive games. He is the first player to average at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a season since Malone in 1982. I don’t see these firsts or records breaking following Lebron James or Derek Rose. Even more telling is that best player in the NBA  does Not have a million dollar shoe contract with Nike, Adidas, Rebox and other companies with which the lesser talented and darker background players have signed with, Love has contract with China’s 361 Degrees.

2. He’s in Minnesota

Minnesota’s media market is about the size of Memphis’ and Milwaukee’s. Granted that Minnesote isn’t exactly the hottest vacation spot, but Kevin Love isn’t getting love on Fox Sports, NBA network or ESPN sport center highlights, even though they refer to him as “relentless” and “the most dominate rebounder” in the NBA. Once relegated to footnotes on the sports ticker, soon the media will latch on to him as his numbers become harder and harder to ignore, they will start to praise his game, his efficiency, yet never acknowledging their slowness was due to his race. Is Minnesota a small NBA market? Maybe, but it is also the same market that made Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett (KG) famous. It is the same market where Garnett earned his MVP award. Kevin Love is putting up far better numbers than Kevin Garnett ever did. Kevin Garnett is revered for his blue collar worker ethic, consistency and hard work, in the same mold of Moses Malone. Moses Malone is heralded as not only the most dominant player of his era, but of all time. At present time Kevin Love best both of these players, so why doesn’t Kevin Love get a nod as being a hard worker in the midst of his season for the ages?

3. He’s not flashy:

Neither was Mark Price or John Stockton. Kevin Love doesn’t have an entourage. He doesn’t have an edge. He doesn’t have a sad or tragic backstory. He is not from a European or Asian country. He isn’t shooting threes and giving thanks to his god. He isn’t power dunking and yelling. He isn’t throwing no-look passes. He isn’t trying to break someone ankles…Everything he is doing, he is doing to win. Does this mean that his stats, points and rebounds are to be viewed as useless, empty?  He is also a Christian….why no Love…see #1

Americans don’t root for the underdog and sports commentators aren’t honest. Those with media credentials should be called to answer as to why not a single one of them gave him a MVP vote in 2011. His record breaking, record setting double-double streak in the 2011 season alone warranted MVP votes. His stats this season demand the MVP award, regardless of record. Why should Kobe, Durant, Lebron or Wade get the MVP Award? Kobe has Gasol and Bynum, Durant has Westbrook, Wade has Lebron. Each of the MVP favorites have an advertising campaign supported by the NBA to push these players to  the forefront. Why not Love?

The NBA is constantly pushing the much overrated Carmelo Anthony and underachieving Blake Griffin. Griffin is a spectacular dunker, but his game hasn’t improved in his time with the L.A. Clippers. Griffin should be leading the team, but he isn’t. Blake has zero low post moves, refuses to develop a mid-range jumper and when the pressure is on he shoots air-balls from the free throw line. Kevin Love has dropped 32 and 21 on Anthony, 38 and 17 on Griffin and this season through seven games he’s averaging 22 and 13 against Griffin. 42 and 10 against Dirk. 27 and 15 against Kobe, Bynum and Gasol. 51 and 14 against Durant and Westbrook. 42 and 10 against Portland’s Lamarcus Aldridge. As for the playing defense question neither Nowitski nor Durant play much defense and neither put up the kind of numbers Love has.

4. Losing record:

Each year with Kevin Love the Minnesota Timberwolves have improved their record. His numbers show that he wants to win. His overall game growth shows that he wants to win. And don’t say that he doesn’t make others better…because he does, he makes his team better, he makes the league better. Don’t say his team has a losing record…The NBA has given the MVP award to players on losing teams before. So why does the media keep overlooking Kevin Love?

Kevin Love isn’t staking a claim to the title of Best Power Forward and He isn’t the best power forward today. He has been the best power forward for awhile. Kevin Love has broken or tied records that have stood for more than three decades. He has created a need for geeks and commentators to track rebound percentages per minute and shot efficiency charts. If the media and NBA would acknowledge these debilitation racial blinders, they could focus on him, it would change the culture of basketball, especially the Power Forward position. Kevin Love has not been in any NBA television promotional commercials this year. Give these kind of stats to Lebron,Wade… hell if you give these kind of stats to Arizza and he would be regarded as the best to ever play the sport. It is deeply sad that the NBA has a legitimate basketball star, who plays the right way, who plays hard every night, a player who just happens to be white, they don’t know where he fits or how to market him.

Witness the fever over the New York Knicks Jeremy Lin. When Lin plays, the television broadcast  show China town, when Lin is not Chinese. ‘I get called everything you can imagine,’ said Jeremy Lin ‘Racial slurs, racial jokes, all having to do with being Asian.’  On the other end of the spectrum is Kevin Love, who has been called “The Best White Player in the NBA”, “His Whiteness” and “Great White Hype”… No this isn’t love. Sport, the NBA and the country has a race problem. The problem isn’t Kevin Love…the problem is us.

 

 

Well, well, in 2012 MVP voting Kevin Love received 58 MVP votes. Glad to know that my articles actually have some reach…even though uncredited.

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Note: Kevin Love is not Shawn Bradley, Eric Montross, Bryant Reeves, Todd Fuller, Keith Van Horn, Raef Lafrentz, Wally Szerbiack, Mike Miller, Chris Mihm, Joel Prizibilla, Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Hinrich, Fredette, Chris Kaman, Robert Swift, Andrew Bogut, Adam Morrison, Spencer Hawes, Tyler Hansbroughk or even Cole Adrich. Kevin Love has seven 30-20 games so far.

As the NBA Playoffs begin I reflect on the excitement of the regular season. Miami gets Lebron James, Shaq’s battle with father-time, The looming lock-out, the Sacramento Kings heading for Anaheim, the Lakers manic play, Kevin Love setting the NBA consecutive double-double record, the best dunk contest in a decade, Derrick Rose’s climb to the MVP,  the ridiculous fine David Stern unjustly levied on Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin’s High Fly better than Lebron’s Rookie-Non-Rookie season and oh yeah, the trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Carmelo Anthony’s summer wedding to television personality La La Vazquez, is where Charlotte Hornet guard Chris Paul toasted that he and Anthony should get together in New York, for their version of a dream team, since then everyone knew that Carmelo Anthony would be traded. Why?  Mostly because Anthony refused to sign a three-year 65 million dollar extension with the Denver Nuggets. Denver offered Anthony the extension only to over inflate Anthony’s value so they could dupe Mikhail Prokhorov the New Jersey Nets new Russian Billionaire owner into giving away the farm to get Carmelo. The trade talks swirled out of control with rumors that the Nets were sending as many as five first round draft picks as well as players to the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony. The rumors stayed absurd until January when the Nets owner arrived in the states and showed the NBA exactly how he made his Billions. He shut down the season long trade negotiations, which shifted pressure on New York to get a deal for Anthony done.

Every fan and sandbox sports prognosticator, analyst and commentator said “Get Carmelo Anthony at any cost”, “Talent like Carmelo Anthony don’t come by often”, “Get him now and sort out the details later.” They asked questions like “could Anthony and Stoudamire co-exist” , “would there be enough basketballs to go around” and “could Anthony handle the spotlight”. As the trade deadline loomed the deal for Anthony formed. Denver received Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash. New York received Carmel Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer.  New York wanted Chanuncy Billups included in the deal to make sure that ‘Melo’ was comfortable in his transition. The Nuggets received a host of young energy players with potential, New York waived Corey Brewer. Since the trade the Nuggets have played with good offense and passion, and the Knick have played with a lack of defense, motivation and chemistry. All of New York’s issues I am sure that columnist and commentators from around the nation will find a way to blame Isiah Thomas for.

In the off-season Amare Stoudamire left the Phoenix Suns and signed a 100 million dollar contract with New York. He led a resurgence of a failed franchise. He had the commentators talking about the Knicks, but more importantly he had the fans believing. The Knicks were winning with Stoudamire leading the way. Amare wasn’t happy in Phoenix, always in Steve Nash’s shadow never getting the credit he deserved. He went to New York and was proving that his gripe was legitimate. Amare led the Knick to some stunning and amazing victories and he was the leading candidate for MVP, until the NBA trade deadline came near. The nearer the deadline, the more the newly resurgent Knicks began to falter. Never mind that trading away half of your team mid-season for a player who never defended is not a good idea. Never mind that the team could have waited and signed Anthony to a reasonable contract at season’s end, save for a lock-out.

No. The pressure was get Carmelo now, Do the deal now and What are the Knicks waiting for. Was it the media’s pressure? Was it owner James Dolan’s myopic focus on Denver that he allowed the a deal for Utah’s star point guard Deron Williams slip through his fingers? New York could have had Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams and still kept a player or two. In fact many in the media were surprised when Utah traded Deron Williams. Williams was abruptly traded to the New Jersey Nets and the Billionaire’s clinic was complete. Had any of these commentators actually seen Carmelo play? 22 million per year for Carmello when Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are earning 16 million per year. As a point guard Chauncy Billups is no slouch, but he isn’t two players either. Since the trade the New York has played a 14 -14 record and the Denver Nuggets have surged with a record of 18-6, Denver has also moved up two playoff positions, and it didn’t take a year to gel together like, Carmelo has said it may take in New York. The new Nugget players have played hard, fast and together. They run ten deep, share the ball and play defense. The real story of this blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade isn’t the season long drama, it isn’t that the commentators were wrong or that New York win or lose may have to make a few more moves to get things right in the Big Apple. No the real tragedy here is how the Carmelo Anthony trade cost Amare Stoudamire this years MVP award. Now, Mr. Stoudamire wont suffer with his 100 million dollar contract, but if he never wins an MVP award he can look to the player standing next to him, to the owner and to the media.

MG Has Spoken on Twitta

In the 2012 NBA season, even with the addition of Tyson Chandler, have been having a horrible season and have been outplayed by those cast out to get Carmelo, particularly Danilo Gallinari. The Knicks traded everything to get Carmelo, but yet they are still losing. “Expectations are still high. Things will still be great,” he said. “I’m not down, I’m not regretting anything. I’m not regretting the trade.” Carmelo Anthony. With Jeremy Lin playing like not other guard before will Carmelo seed the helm of the Knicks to him…I don’t think so. Big dogs don’t like little dogs even if it is to their benefit.