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.

We liked Michael Jordan, although he gambled, fought other players, cheated on his wife, and was at times classless. We liked Shaq, although at times the big fella was just too sensitive. And despite all of Magic’s faults we still like him. We like Lebron, even though he jilted Cleveland.  We Like Dwayne Wade and we like a whole lot of other players, but why don’t people like Kobe? Even though he takes the team on his back and saves the game, still a majority of  league players  say that they don’t want to play with him. The guy has six rings for goodness sake, but when your own teammates say that you should opt-out at the end of the season,  it’s time that we examine why people don’t like Kobe. This list is in no particular order.

1. He was very selfish when he came in the league and he still is.- go to the tape
2. When Magic suggested that he spend some time with his teammates his response was “For What?” – go to the tape
3. He slapped Samaki Walker in the back of the head on the team bus. Samaki got up and started to choke Kobe. When Kobe asked for assistance… His teammates kept looking out the window.- I just threw this in because it is mildly humorous.
4. He originally said that growing up he never paid Michael Jordan much attention.-That is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard!
5. He cussed out Tex Winter. -Tex is like 7,000 years old, I mean really.

6. He called Karl Malone old, and then told him “I don’t need yo pick”.
7. He also ruined the last year of The Mailman’s playing career. -This you can debate.
8. If there is a Man Code he became the top violator when he ratted out Shaq.- Some things you just don’t do.
9. In game seven of the crucial 2006 playoffs Vs. Phoenix, Kobe let it be known that he quit on the team, by standing 6 feet above the three point line watching and waving to his teammates for much of the second half. You saw him do it, you just didn’t know what he was doing, so Charles Barkley called him out on air by saying “Kobe quit that night, plain and simple”.- go to the tape.
10. He’s a whiner- go to the tape(s).


11. He forced L.A.’s mayor to get off the parade bus. That day Kobe could be heard saying “I’m being infringed upon”. – Personally I might have done the same thing, but the mayor was crucial in helping the Lakers have a Parade in the first place.
12. He is Defensively Overrated. Back in the day Shaq was frowning on everybody that got past Kobe… and they did get past him. Now he has three seven footer behind him.

13. He made Filmmaker Spike Lee stand at his private gated community for an hour and still didn’t buzz him in, or come out to talk with him. -I would say watch “Kobe Doing Work”, but do so at your own risk not because I suggested it.
14. His feud with Phil Jackson.- The Zen Master
15. His Trade *explicative* Bynum, or I’ll be in Chicago Talk.
16. One minute before Lebron James was the Cleveland Cavaliers Number One Overall draft pick. Kobe chose to announced that we was opting out of his Lakers’ contract, effectively stealing Lebron’s spotlight.

17. In 1999 he was the only NBA player that voted to continue The Strike!
18. Lebron is fast approaching, but Kobe is the most Ref-Aided NBA Player in the game. Traveling and charging are supposed to be illegal.
19. Kobe didn’t change his jersey from eight to twenty-four for money, as Adrian Wojnaroswki has suggested, he did so that everybody would forget that he was charged with bending a young girl over a chair in Denver.

20. Kobe has a noted penchant for being sensitive, rhat’s when he won’t pass to his teammates even when they are open. See trust issues.

21. In game 5 of 2010 Western Conference Final, Kobe ruined his, Jordan to Paxon, Jordan to Kerr, Jordan to Wennington moment. Against the Phoenix  Suns in the 4th quarter with the game tied and 8 seconds left on the game clock Kobe dribbled into the right corner, double teamed.  Kobe elevated and shot an air-ball, which Ron Artest quickly grabbed  and banked in for the win.  For those that don’t know if you are double teamed that means that one of your teammates is wide open.

22. He has to be reminded every single season that he has Teammates. He usually has to be called out by team players and media.

23. An hour after Kobe and Shaq agreed with Lakers management to stop all the media bad blood between each other. Kobe called sportscaster Jim Gray to hold a private interview where he proceeded to call Shaq fat, out of shape and milking his toe injury for extra time off. Bad form Kobe, bad form.

24.  Kobe (Mr. Clutch) makes a little less than one of every three shots when The Lakers are down two points, one point, tied, or on the final ball possession, this stats actually which makes him one of the worst performers among players with at least 30 attempts in those situations.

25. After making 300 Million dollars during his career, with the NBA lock out in full swing, Kobe feels neglected. He saw how the media fawned over Lebron and his “Decision”. He chaffed at the way the media followed Carmelo’ Drama so he floated the idea of playing in the Italian league with Virtus Bologna for $300,000 to $1,000,000 per game. Great way to show solidarity and maintain the players leverage. He knew the NBA owners not only profit from not paying the players during the lockout, but they also want the players to play overseas to help grow the brand for future European expansion. Just enjoy the time off, try going back to school.

26. While in church Kobe thought that a man was taking photos of he and his wife. Kobe grabbed the man’s wrist and took his cellphone. Kobe returned the man’s cellphone after going through it to make sure that no photos of his family were on it.

27. In 2011 and 2012, The saga with center Dwight Howard played out longer than it should have for the Orlando Magic and the rest of the League, why? Because when Howard called Kobe to see what his thoughts would be on the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe said “It would be great to have you in L.A. now I don’t have to worry about defense…” Dwight Howard didn’t being told he’d be forgotten on offense, or not passed to and he began waffling back and forth on whether to stay with the Magic. To facilitate this stalemate, the L.A. Lakers when out and signed soon to be NBA Hall of famer Steve Nash to take the ball and decision making out of Kobe’s hands. After the Steve Nash signing Howard was more agreeable and was traded to the Lakers in a deal that included often-maligned, often unreliable center Andrew Bynum. (This may, or should turn out to be a great thing for the

28. While in training camp for the 2012-2013 season Kobe made a disturbing media comment. When asked whose team it was by a reportes Kobes said, “I don’t want to get into the…well we share… No, it’s my team.”

29. “In 2005, I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team! Smush Parker was is the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on.”-  Kobe Bryant 10-11-2012 “You can’t knock the man’s legacy…What I don’t like about him is the man that he is. His personality. How he treats people. I don’t like that side of Kobe. Half way through the season I tried to talk to Kobe…He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious.”- Smush Parker

30. “In 2006, I was shooting 45 times a game. What am I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown?”-Kobe Bryant 10-11-2012 So much for trying around the Kobster.

31. New York Yankees benched Alex Rodriguez and were, down 3-0 to the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. Kobe had this to say about A-Rod, “I think that sometimes he forgets about how great he is, I don’t.” (mildly humorous)

32. In the famous 2011 Pau Gasol shooting slump, it was discovered that Gasol’s fiance broke up with him. This left Gasol an emotional wreck and rather useless in the playoff.  What does this have to do with Kobe? Apparently Kobe told his wife, Vanessa, about Gasol’s philandering.

Vanessa then became friends with Gasol’s finance, just so she could spill the beans to her. When Pau confronted Kobe about this an argument ensued and the two stopped speaking to each other. Gasol became the scapegoat for the team’s early playoff exit. –Kobe violates the man code again.

32.  His song K.O.B.E.

33. He gained the nickname Black Mamba not because he is deadly as a player. He gained his moniker because he refused to speak to his teammates on the court, instead he would make a hissing sound when he wanted the ball given to him. Naturally his teammates started called him the Black Mamba.

34. “I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team,”

35. During his Kobe and the Kids time with the Lakers, Kobe on the court the Lakers were -13.2, and +7.1 with him on the bench.

36. His refusal to say when he will actually retire, which held up the already lengthy Laker rebuilding process. Kobe and the kids lingered on for years.

37. After a story int he newspaper reported that he had tanked a game to spite Shaq. Kobe went up to each teammate with newspaper in-hand and asked, “Did you say this Motherf&^%er?… Did you say this Motherf&^%er?”

38. He once tried to beat up Tyronne Lue for blocking his shot during practice.

I could continue to list things,  but after that K.O.B.E. song I really need to stop.

Reasons Why People Like Kobe
I made this list for those that don’t care, now remember that these are in no particular order:

1. He’s Got One Hell of a Game, and he’s had One Hell of a Career and for most that is all that matters.

The Black Mamba

MG Hardie