A noticeable slimmer Kevin Love prepared to take promotional league photos Monday at the Target Center.
Despite his tongue hanging out, Ricky Rubio denies he needs rest. “I’m here 100 percent,’’ said Rubio, who is resisting suggestions to take it easy during the preseason.
BRE McGEE • Special to the Star Tribune,
Love doesn't want to talk about the past
- Article by: JERRY ZGODA
- Star Tribune
- September 30, 2013 - 10:19 PM
Timberwolves forward Kevin Love reported for duty with his surgically repaired knee and hand reportedly all healed and his body lean.
He also made one thing abundantly clear: The past is in the…well, you know.
“Last year is last year,” the two-time All-Star forward, uttering a line he used repeatedly during a 12-minute session with reporters at the team’s annual media day.
He made it clear he has little interest in discussing a lost season in which he played just 18 games after breaking his shooting hand not once but twice.
Love also wasn’t much interested in discussing his relationship with former President of Basketball of Operations David Kahn, who was replaced by Flip Saunders last May.
“The past is the past and it’s great to have Flip on board,” Love said. “We’ve had great talks. … We all know what happened last year, and we just want to move forward and take care of unfinished business.”
Love looked like he’s in the best shape of his career, even though he said he doesn’t know exactly how much weight he lost from last season.
Love worked with two trainers — one on basketball skills, the other strength and conditioning — in Los Angeles all summer and also worked out with fellow NBA stars such as Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.
“I learned early that players get better in the summer,” he said. “Just getting better every single day.”
He was asked if he did anything differently in his workouts than previous summers.
“I tried to be a lot more lucky,” he said.
Power of the pen?
Rookie Shabazz Muhammad said he reached out to Saunders and Wolves owner Glen Taylor after he was got sent home from the NBA’s rookie symposium after just one day for violating the rules last summer. He was sent home and will have to attend the program next summer with the 2014 rookie class because he brought a female to his room when no visitors are allowed.
“I wrote them a letter just to tell them it won’t happen again,” Muhammad said. “I mean, you always have to carry yourself as a professional and the stuff you do always comes out. So I just have to learn to be smarter and learn from the guys who have been there before.”
New teammate Kevin Martin contacted Muhammad shortly thereafter and reminded him to focus on basketball among other things in an attempt to be the kind of veteran mentor that Bobby Jackson and Doug Christie were to Martin early in his career at Sacramento.
Ready to go
Saunders has suggested the team might give Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved some time off during training camp and preseason games because they just completed summer play with their respective national teams.
Rubio apparently isn’t having any of that even though he played his last game for Spain little more than a week ago.
“I’m here 100 percent,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to rest. I did before the summer [EuroBasket tournament]. I’m here to be with the team. I don’t think playing the European championship affect me in a way that I can’t practice with the team.”
• Third-year forward Derrick Williams said he weighs 235 pounds now after playing at 250 last season and 245 in college at Arizona. He lost weight so he’s more suited to play small forward. Muhammad said he has lost more than 10 pounds by working out more and eating better. Shved declared himself the same weight but stronger this season.
“I make more muscles,” Shved said.
• Chase Budinger’s injured left knee was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Alabama on Monday but a spokesperson said the team didn’t have an update on his condition, pending results. Saunders last week said Budinger also might see Rubio’s knee surgeon in Colorado.
• Corey Brewer came home Monday to the team that drafted him in 2007 and traded him in 2011.
“I like Minnesota,” he said. “We weren’t winning too much when I was here but I wasn’t too good when I was here, either.”
• The Wolves formally signed point guard A.J. Price to a training-camp contract Monday and headed to Mankato for the start of camp today with 18 players on their roster. The Wolves will practice in Taylor’s hometown once a day Tuesday through Friday.
© 2013 Star Tribune