Mr. Love Miracle Glass Cleaner




Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer


There is a serious problem plaguing the NBA. In just about every arena, the backboard glass is dirty on a nightly basis and the league is looking for an immediate solution.

No cause for concern, commissioner David Stern will find the answer to this vexing problem in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Mr. Love is willing to take the job with his Guide to Backboard Maintenance.

The Wolves launched a Rookie of the Year campaign for standout first-year power forward, Kevin Love. The staff in Minneapolis took a creative approach to highlight the impressive statistical season that surrounds Love's uncanny ability to rebound.

This lifelong focus to the art of rebounding can be linked back to Stan Love, Kevin's father and former forward for the Lakers and Spurs.

"My dad always said it, there is no such thing as a selfish rebound," Love recalled. "If you have to fight your teammate or the other team, the coaching staff -- fight them for it, the fans, there is no such thing as a selfish rebound. Bill Russell also said 80 percent of rebounds are below the rim so you don't have to be a guy who jumps to the top of the backboard every single time for a rebound. That's just the attitude I take on basically every shot that goes up."

Love fully comprehends the necessity for rebounding at the NBA level, which was displayed from the first time he stepped on the floor at the Target Center. In his season debut against the Sacramento Kings, Love grabbed nine boards in only 19 minutes. After the victory over Sacramento, the Wolves witnessed Love's productivity on the boards rise throughout the year.

"I started off kind of slow in the months of November and December," Love said. As far as the past three and a half of months, I feel like I have been doing a great job, getting a bunch of double-doubles, being very effective out there on the floor in the minutes that I get. Yeah, K. Love, Glass Cleaner that's the promo they came up with, so I'm rolling with it."

The Rookie of the Year campaign included a dedicated Web site for fans locally and nationally to view the mind boggling numbers Love has posted this season. The fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft leads all NBA rookies by averaging nine rebounds per game in only 25.4 minutes of court time. Even more impressively, Love is the second-best offensive rebounder in the league, just behind Dwight Howard.

The recipe for success seems second nature for the California native, "For me, I just assume that everything is a miss," Love said. "Obviously you have confidence in your teammates that they are going to make the shot but if you assume everything is going to be a miss than when it comes off a certain way than it's not going to surprise you. I think a lot of guys have been really keying on me as far as offensive rebounds and on the defensive end as well. I think it's on the scouting report to stop me on the boards."

With 25 double-doubles this year, Love sits at the top of the helm in all rookie rebounding categories. The 6'10 forward could join some elite NBA company as Love is on pace to finish with the fourth-best rebound percentage by a rookie in league history. The names on that list include future Hall of Fame center, Shaquille O'Neal and legendary rebounder, Charles Oakley.

As a throwback type of player, Love's skills conjure up memories of a unique talent that made a living on the glass.

"I love Rodman, the fact that he had a little crazy side to him, off the court as well," Love laughed. "When he crossed that line he became the Worm. Dennis Rodman was one of the greatest rebounders of all-time. I like what he did on the Bulls; he was perfect for that team. That's what I'm trying to do for this team, just be a good fit. Be able to rebound down the stretch of games with the best of the best and contribute as best as I can."

When traveling on the Internet Superhighway, opposing teams might want to make a pit stop at votemrlove.com. The interactive site features an original video from Mr. Love to promote his product, Miracle Glass Cleaner, which promises to leave a streak-free shine while cleaning up the Rookie of the Year race. Mr. Love showed the type of comedic acting skills that may land him on Saturday Night Live one day.

"I have had a great time, just trying to get better," Love said. "It's very rewarding when you put in the work and you listen, take care of your vets, you watch film with your coaches, you do all those things to make yourself better. To finally see all that work you put out pay off, it feels pretty good. Going into next year, I just want to keep getting better, work on my body and this offseason should be big for me."

The media will decide the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year during the upcoming postseason. Love will face stiff competition in this year's class against O.J. Mayo, Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Michael Beasley, Brook Lopez, and Marc Gasol.

One thing is for sure, Love brings an extreme upside to the Wolves franchise and he will take care of the glass cleaning around the league for the foreseeable future.