When Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star and Team USA forward Kevin Love isn't taking endless amounts of cool Instagram shots of his teammates (seriously, if you're not already following Kevin on Twitter, you need to start), he's also giving rather candid interviews to both national and local Minnesotan press. Last week, Eric Freeman detailed Love's frustration with his growing T-Pups in his interview with Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears. And on Thursday, Love told the Pioneer Press' Brian Murphy all about the good vibes that are soon to emanate from a slightly rebuilt Timberwolves locker room.
Vibes, apparently, that are due to the removal of bad blood; because apparently we're only dealing with intangibles today. Love was pretty direct in his take on his team's issues, in 2011-12, and what to look forward to next season:
"If we get everybody back healthy, with Ricky back healthy, if Roy comes in healthy, and if we can get off to a good start, we're going to be good. But we really have to add as many as pieces as we possibly can, veteran guys," he said. "There was some bad blood in that locker room we were able to get out of there and smooth things out. That should help us out going forward."
Asked to elaborate, Love responded: "Just what I said. We had bad blood in the locker room. We got that out."
Love doesn't have to name names, all we have to do is look at the list of players that have left the Timberwolves, for whatever reason, since the regular season wrapped up.
There's Michael Beasley. Effortless shooter, if not effortless scorer. Several regrettable tattoos. Long, sometimes-braided hair makes headphone-wearing a chore, so it's possible he committed several faux pas with his iPod and the appropriate level of volume. Maybe he whistles the "Family Guy" theme too much.
It could include Darko Milicic, who has been known to act a little churlish at times. He likes to rip jerseys, and with only one to his credit in each locker room, he's bound to tear at the threads of others at times. That mustache that never grew in could annoy. He might incessantly ask teammates what a "manna from Heaven" is, even when it's obvious he already knows.
There's Anthony Randolph, who could just eat and eat and eat all day and never gain a pound. So unfair, you guys.
And then there's Martell Webster. Sneaky-bad.
Or, it could be some heretofore unnamed locker room attendant. Always messing with the thermostat. Never found out where that smell was coming from. Two right shower shoes in every stall, where did the left ones go? Weird stuff in the fridge, who the hell drinks RC Cola? Crummy DVD choices in the theatre room, does anyone even like "Joe Dirt"?
Portland decided to match Minnesota's whopper of an offer to restricted free-agent forward Nicolas Batum, so outside of taking to an experiment in the unretired Brandon Roy, the Wolves haven't actually made a whole lot of additions this offseason. The team missed the playoffs last year, but were short a lottery pick due to a 7-year-old deal that sent Marko Jaric to the Timberwolves. That doesn't mean the team still can't swing some moves, what with heaps of cap space still available to use in a deal.
Failing a deal, relying on internal development, it should be pointed out, isn't the worst thing that could happen. Love continues to improve on both ends, Nikola Pekovic is one of the NBA's better young players, and Rubio's marksmanship will hopefully improve when he returns from a knee injury — although Timberwolves fans might have to prepare for a lost year from Ricky, in his first campaign back following that ACL tear.
Even if the Wolves fall short in their attempts to make obvious offseason improvements, you get the sense that the initial addition by subtraction is enough to keep Love semi-giddy for now. At least until Darko comes back to the locker room, to find that windbreaker that he "could have sworn he left here."
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