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Wolves forward Kevin Love

Eric Gay, Associated Press

Making team 'definitely means a lot' for Love

  • July 21, 2012 - 9:17 PM

Timberwolves two-time All-Star Kevin Love looks around at his U.S. Olympic teammates and notices something different about them.

He's the only one out of 11 veterans -- rookie Anthony Davis, a late injury replacement, doesn't count -- who never has appeared in an NBA playoff game.

That's why Love has gone on the offensive this summer, voicing his impatience with his own Wolves team that he wants to commit to winning immediately now that the clock ticks toward his possible free agency in 2015.

While he waits for changes with his NBA team, Love will be surrounded in London by the kinds of talented players -- LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony, to name a few -- he can only dream of back home in Minnesota.

On this team, he is a reserve center -- a "versatile" and "unconventional" one, according to Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski -- who will be asked to shoot the three and spread the floor in a limited role now that the U.S. team is playing without injured or missing big men Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom.

On this team, he is playing for his country and playing for gold, just as he did with the 2010 U.S. team that won the World Championship in Turkey.

"It definitely means a lot," Love said about being one of 12 chosen to represent the United States. "I was a kid who grew up not only watching the Olympics for the basketball, but also everything else included. It was a way to feel patriotic and part of the country. You don't necessarily need to be a sports fan to watch the Olympics."

JERRY ZGODA

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