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Continued: Souhan: Love can lead in stats, but can he lead the Wolves?

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 26, 2014 - 7:08 AM

Stars are supposed to transform franchises. These four have been weighed down by the gravitational forces of their teams’ struggles.

Basketball, more than any other sport, promotes the idea of the transformational star. Superstars are supposed to win titles, or at least vie for them.

Where does that leave Love? He has become one of the league’s most productive and celebrated players, but the Wolves’ best season since he arrived produced a paltry 31 victories last year while he was injured.

Entering the weekend, the Wolves were tied for 10th in a 16-team conference despite Love’s impressive numbers.

In a locker room where his accomplishments should make him the Alpha male if not the alpha and omega, he has feuded with veterans J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham.

It’s not Love’s fault that Rubio and Kevin Martin can’t shoot straight, that the roster is weaker than it appeared last summer, that the franchise that drafted him also drafted Flynn and Wes Johnson, but he will be judged by his team’s performance.

By the end of the weekend, Love will have 39 games remaining in which to prove he can carry a flawed team.

The Wolves know they can’t win without him. What’s more troubling is that they still aren’t sure whether they can win with him.


Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays

at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is

@SouhanStrib. •

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  • Dante Cunningham and Kevin Love did a victory dance earlier this season after a win.

  • Wolves Kevin Love and Portland's Nicolas Batum went after a rebound during the second half at the Target Center in Minneapolis Wednesday, December 18, 2013. Wolves won over Portland 120-109. ] (KYNDELL HARKNESS/STAR TRIBUNE)

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