Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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Let's surprise Love and ourselves on Jan. 31

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: August 23, 2014 - 5:20 PM

Anyone with even a modest interest in the Timberwolves has to appreciate the following from Kevin Love:

*You have to appreciate the fact that he came here as part of a disputable trade on the night of the 2008 NBA Draft and turned it into the best decision of Kevin McHale’s tenure as the team’s basketball boss.

I would put it ahead of selecting Kevin Garnett in the 1995 draft, because it was a much-tougher decision at the time to trade guard O.J. Mayo for Love than it was to select Garnett at No. 5 overall.

*You have to appreciate the effort that Love put in to both transform himself physically and to add much to his offensive game. He has been one of those admirable players who got his bank account filled and continued to work to get better every season.

Then, when limited to 18 games by injuries in 2012-13, he came back as an offensive monster and an All-Star starter in the mighty Western Conference.

Nowhere in All-Star honors is there more prestige than in being selected as a conference starter in the NBA … one of a mere five players from 15 teams.

Yes, Love may be a “numbers guy,’’ but when those numbers are 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists all you can do is whistle.

You know how to whistle don’t you … you just put your lips together and blow. (Maybe that line came off better when Lauren Bacall said it in a movie).

*You have to appreciate the fact that Love --- after two years of immature behavior in sending signals that he would be leaving the Timberwolves at the first opportunity – shut it down for the last few weeks and let Flip Saunders conduct the business of getting the best possible return for his star.

Love could have kept making noise, could have said publicly that he intended to fully explore his free-agent opportunities after next season, but he didn’t do that.

The reverse might be true. There have been reports that Love gave Cleveland a wink about sticking it out long-term with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, which had to make it easier for the Cavaliers to say goodbye to Andrew Wiggins.

*If you’re a hardcore sports fan in these parts, and have tired of the pontificating of know-it-all sportswriters and/or radio hosts, you have to enjoy the fact that Love received instant ridicule from one of those types (I don’t want to embarrass the guy by naming him) and forced that genius to eat every sentence that was written or uttered at the very beginning of Love’s career.

Considering all these positives, and considering that the small group of Timberwolves zealots seems to be voicing approval for the trade, there's a proposal to offer.

Local hoop-heads note Jan. 31 on their smart phones. And then we show up en masse on that Saturday night at Target Center, and here’s what happens:

We throw a surprise at the national pundits, we throw a surprise at Love, and we throw a surprise at ourselves.

We do it by greeting Kevin Love with applause. No boos, no hisses, no one-liners about knuckle push-ups … just respectful applause.

Maybe we even give him a quick stand up when he’s introduced along with LeBron and Kyrie. Not a standing ovation, with stomping and cheering … put the hands together seven, eight times, it's over, and Love is so shocked he can't find his jump shot all night.

We do this to show Love appreciation for what he made of himself as a player in Minnesota, and also what that improvement in six seasons here allowed the Timberwolves to get for him in return.

Let’s make it a hashtag campaign: #applaudlove. Who’s with me?

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Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
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Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
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Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
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Carolina
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Boston 6:00 PM
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NY Islanders
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Nashville
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Florida 8:00 PM
Arizona
Washington 9:00 PM
Calgary
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Cincinnati 34
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South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
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Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
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Virginia 27
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Navy 41
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Miami-Ohio 10
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Stanford 28
(1) Miss State 17 3rd Qtr
Kentucky 10
Georgia Tech 28 3rd Qtr
Pittsburgh 14
Texas Tech 20 3rd Qtr
(10) TCU 37
Fla Atlantic 16 3rd Qtr 15:00
(23) Marshall 14
Louisiana Tech 10 3rd Qtr 14:14
Southern Miss 7
(22) West Virginia 14 3rd Qtr 14:48
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Michigan 3 3rd Qtr 12:32
(8) Michigan State 14
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Vanderbilt 0 2nd Qtr 0:13
Missouri 10
Old Dominion 23 2nd Qtr 6:00
Western Ky 35
UNLV 7 2nd Qtr 1:17
Utah State 17
Temple 0 1st Qtr 6:10
UCF 10
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
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Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
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FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
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(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
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(6) Oregon
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Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
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(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
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(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
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(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
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Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
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Hamilton 7
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