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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Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 5 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 9/22/14 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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