Fired Minnesota Timberwolves executive David Kahn told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that forward Kevin Love needs to earn back the respect of his teammates.
Kahn, who was let go as the team's president of basketball operations on Thursday, also addressed the reported sour relationship between him and Love.
"And my feelings toward Kevin, frankly, I really like him," Kahn said Thursday. "And we've had some really productive conversations about the steps he needs to take to win back the respect and admiration of his teammates and coaches. It's almost ridiculous how much attention is paid to my relationship with him.
"In terms of importance, it has no bearing at the end of the day whether he'll be happy here and whether the organization will be happy with him. It's much more important for him to forge really meaningful relationships with his teammates and coaches."
Kahn clarified that he thinks Love, who missed most of the season with two hand injuries and knee problems, needs to step up and be more of a leader.
"I think there's some work for him to be done in terms of, he didn't play very much this year, right?" Kahn said. "And I think there's a void there because of that. Many of those guys really fought their way back from injury, sometimes multiple injuries. He had two broken hands. He came back once, didn't play well, broke his hand again and then decided to have his knee done at the end of the year when the pain was such.
"I think he has some work to do in the locker room, and I believe he will. I certainly don't want that to come across negatively. I believe he will and I believe he's on the right path."
The Timberwolves missed the playoffs four straight years under Kahn and eight consecutive seasons overall.
Former coach Flip Saunders was hired to replace Kahn on Friday.