Wolves' Love surprised by All-Star starting spot

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 24, 2014 - 11:47 AM

The two-time All-Star didn’t expect fans to vault him over Dwight Howard late in the voting process.

– Timberwolves two-time All-Star Kevin Love had just pushed his room-service cart into the hotel hallway Thursday afternoon when someone else — team President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders — came knocking on his door.

Make that three-time All-Star Kevin Love, and now first-time starter.

Saunders and General Manager Milt Newton came calling to inform Love that fans worldwide voted him into next month’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans as one of the Western Conference’s three frontcourt starters.

“To be considered among the elite, you know, my joke was, ‘Hey, I’m popular now!’ ”Love said. “It’s very, I guess, humbling starting in the All-Star Game.”

Love moved from fourth in the last balloting results made public a week ago into the third and final starter’s spot when Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard dropped below both Love and Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin before the league announced the East and West starters Thursday evening.

Love will start alongside Griffin and Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant after the Wolves orchestrated a late get-out-the-vote campaign, encouraging fans through contests and promotions to vote for him via text message, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on NBA.com. He will be the first Wolves All-Star starter since Kevin Garnett in 2007.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Love said. “I was in disbelief up until it came across the screen and the NBA tweeted it. It was just a really surreal moment.”

Just two hours earlier, Love said he was certain he hadn’t been voted a starter, but said he also was certain Western Conference coaches would vote him into the game as a reserve for the third time.

“I guess I was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” Love said.

Fans voted Golden State’s Steph Curry and injured Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant in as the West’s starting backcourt while also picking Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Indiana’s Paul George, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and New York’s Carmelo Anthony as the East’s starters.

Love made the 2011 All-Star Game when Commissioner David Stern named him an injury replacement for Yao Ming, and he made the 2012 All-Star Game when Western coaches voted him in as a reserve. He wasn’t chosen last season because he played only 18 games after breaking his hand twice in three months.

This time, he made it as a starter.

“It definitely has a different feeling to it,” Love said. “Each of my three has been a little different. It’s kind of a slew of different ways to get yourself in, but to be voted in is very big because the fans are what drives this game. For the fans to reach out and vote me in and to play amongst my peers who are very well-liked and popular around the world, it really means a lot.”

Love made one promise when he gets introduced as a starter.

“Well, I know one thing’s for sure,” he said. “I’m not going to be dancing when my name is called. As a kid, you obviously grow up dreaming of being in the NBA, dreaming of being an All-Star player. But to be an All-Star starter … I keep using the word surreal. It just hasn’t quite set in yet.”

Before Thursday’s announcement was made, Wolves coach Rick Adelman said there’s no doubt Love deserves to be an All Star.

“He’s had a great year,” Adelman said. “There are a lot of good forwards in the West, but he has been the most consistent guy of all the guys. I don’t know where we’d be without him without the year he has had.”

Love is fourth in the league in scoring (25 ppg), second in rebounding (13 rpg) and fifth among forwards in assists (4.0 apg) and yet his team is 20-21 and chasing the West’s eighth and final playoff spot.

“If you go by stats, Kevin Love has the stats,” TNT analyst Kenny Smith said on the network’s Thursday show that unveiled the starters. “I prefer to reward winning, so I was surprised in that regard. If Minnesota was in a solid playoff spot, then I would understand it. But his numbers are beyond All-Star numbers. Those are big-boy numbers.”

  • related content

  • Video: NBA All-Star game starters named

    Friday January 24, 2014

    LeBron James garnered the most All-Star votes with over 1.4 million then went out & lit up the Lakers...

  • Love among 28 NBA players selected for U.S. national team pool

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    Love is one of seven players that return to the national team after capturing gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

  • Kevin Love career statistics

    Saturday August 23, 2014

  • RandBall: Playoffs? Wolves have better chance than Wild

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    If you had to bet on either the Wolves or Wild to make the playoffs, you would be better off betting on the Wolves -- at least according to...

  • Pekovic worked on smaller muscles to get big, stay healthy

    Saturday January 25, 2014

    Big-muscled Nikola Pekovic needed to develop his smaller ones in order to avoid injuries.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

  • Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love (42) works around San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan (21) during the second half on an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 117-110. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Kevin Love slipped ahead of Dwight Howard in the closing days of voting to become an All-Star starter. He’s averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 4th Qtr 12:41
(3) Oregon 55
(25) Washington 17 4th Qtr 10:58
Hawaii 16
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77





question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters