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Kevin Love, left, of the Wolves and Blake Griffin of the Clippers are battling to be a West starter in the All-Star Game.

File photo by Carlos Gonzalez • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

Rand: Love pursuing Griffin to be All-Star starter in fan vote

  • January 17, 2014 - 12:32 AM

The NBA All-Star starters for the 2007 game were announced on Jan. 25. The Wolves had fired Dwane Casey two days earlier after a 20-20 start. That was a team in transition. Kevin Garnett was traded in the summer after the Wolves limped to a 32-52 finish. The idea was to rebuild around a young core.

That process is still ongoing. The Wolves have not topped 32 victories since Garnett’s final season. And they have not had a player voted into the All-Star Game since then, either.

Kevin Love would like to change both those trends. He’s already a two-time All-Star, having gone as a reserve in 2011 and 2012. But getting voted in would be a different feeling.

“The fan vote is huge because it means you’re well-liked and people love watching and appreciate your game,” Love said.

In Love’s case, it also means you have a marketing department trying everything in its power to generate votes. Voting ends Monday; at the last count, Love trailed the Clippers’ Blake Griffin by a relatively scant 17,000 votes for the third starting forward spot in the Western Conference.

Love has been gaining on Griffin recently, and the Wolves are hoping he can make another push. Earlier this week, the team did a “Twitter Takeover” with Love on its official Twitter feed (@MNTimberwolves), with fans able to ask Love questions via social media.

In exchange, the Wolves hope fans will vote for Love on various platforms. They want fans to vote five times every day, and they can do it through Twitter, NBA.com and text, among other methods.

That said, the bigger question during Wolves media access Thursday centered around the team’s home loss to Sacramento and whether the 18-20 squad can get a winning streak going as the season approaches the midway point.

Interestingly enough, the Wolves’ first opportunity to get on a roll comes Friday against Toronto — now coached by Casey.

“What’s on my mind right now is just focusing on the next couple games and, more importantly, [Friday] night,” Love said.

MICHAEL RAND

© 2014 Star Tribune