In the movie “The Blues Brothers,” Elwood famously says to his brother Jake, “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.” And Jake replies, “Hit it.”
The version from Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic — dubbed “The Bruise Brothers” as part of an NBA All-Star campaign by the Timberwolves — might go something like this: “It’s 1,200 miles to New Orleans. We’ve got a full stat sheet, half a pack of athletic tape, it’s cold and we’re wearing beards.”
One of them already has “hit it,” with Love being voted a Western Conference starter. Now the Wolves are making a late push to have Pekovic join him in New Orleans as a reserve. The marketing campaign centers around the Bruise Brothers concept, which includes the production of a limited number of actual vinyl albums bearing their likeness.
“It first came to us when we recruited [Pekovic] this summer as a free agent,” Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders said before Monday’s game in Chicago — a nice Blues/Bruise Brothers coincidence. “This past week I said to our guys, ‘We should do something like this.’ So we went down to Down in the Valley, got some albums and [put the kits together].”
The albums are divided into “Side 42” and “Side 14,” signifying the players’ uniform numbers. There are real songs from various artists, but the track listings bear titles such as “You’re The Outlet To My Heart” and “It Happened At Shootaround.” And the track lengths correspond to point/rebound stat lines the players have posted this season.
“I didn’t even know they were doing it until a couple of days ago, so it was pretty funny. A good idea,” Love said.
The only question remaining: which Wolves player corresponds to which brother?
“I would say Pek would have to be Jake and Kevin would have to be Elwood,” Saunders said.
Pekovic, who said he has not seen the movie, responded with another question.
“What?” he asked.