It was with a seemingly forced jocularity that Kevin Love met with the local media today after Timberwolves practice. Thursday was Love’s first full day back in Minneapolis; Love arrived – after a 3½ -hour travel delay – in town Wednesday evening with just enough time to get to Target Center and watch the Wolves lose to San Antonio.
When I say forced, I don’t mean to imply that he was being insincere. But I do think he was working very hard to convince everybody that he’s glad to be back, glad to be with the team. And, in the larger sense, glad to be with the organization.
Love has been in New York City since his mid-January surgery to repair two broken bones in his right hand. He said by the time he was due to return he was bored there and eager to get back here. He said that a few times.
Jerry was there, too, and he’ll post video of the press conference. But here are some interesting things Love had to say:
--He still hopes to return in mid to late March. But he’s not going to rush himself. Love was asked, again, if he came back too soon from his broken hand the first time. And while he said no, he at least suggested that maybe the breaks didn’t heal properly the first time. “Because, at the time I broke it, I was 10 weeks out (from the initial fractures),” Love said. “So I gave it enough time to heal. … But now that it’s fixed it feels great, and I can continue to progress.”
--Love said the season has been frustrating, given his high expectations coming off the Olympics and the team’s high hopes entering the season. When asked what there was left in the season to salvage, here’s what he said: “I think coach (Rick Adelman) mentioned it today,” he said. “That we can’t look at making the playoffs right now. We can just look at our next game and our next practice and what we can do to get better every single day. Even though myself, and Chase (Budinger) and Brandon (Roy) and (Andrei Kirilenko) are out right now, we can still look at getting back on the court and getting better.”
Love said goals should include getting the fans energized, keeping electricity in the building.
“If we can close out this season in that way, especially getting the fans on our side, getting season tickets renewed, things like that,” Love said, “that’s certainly going to help.”
--Love also reiterated that he’s happy to be in Minnesota, and wants fans to know that. “I think they just need to realize I love being here,” he said.
Like I said before, Jerry will post video. Have a good rest of your day, and I'll get back to you after tomorrow morning's shootaround.