Q&A: Kevin Love On Mayo Clinic Square
Editor's Note: The Timberwolves, Lynx, Mayo Clinic and Block E announced on Tuesday that the Wolves will move their administrative offices and practice facility the newly-remodeled Block E across the street from Target Center as early as Fall 2014. Kevin Love was part of the process from the beginning, working with the Wolves and Mayo to help provide input on the facility and what it would mean to the organization. Timberwolves.com's Mark Remme caught up with Love on Wednesday to talk about the facility and what it means to this new era of Timberwolves basketball.
Mark Remme: How excited are you to move into this practice facility?
Kevin Love: It’s just a dream come true for the organization. I was there from the beginning when Flip asked me to go down to Mayo Clinic and be part of the presentation. After that, things were pretty much a go, and the infrastructure is already there, so I’m excited to be part of this and see how quickly this goes up. It’s a very big deal for us to have a practice facility like this, because we’ll walk in and really have the best of the best.
MR: How much input did you give toward what you wanted to see in a new facility? Did you take any ideas from previous training centers you’ve used?
KL: That was the coolest part, that everybody involved wanted to hear from the players and hear from me as well. I talked to different players, coaches, training staff members, and we all kind of had input on what we wanted. We picked apart what we saw from other facilities. That was a big deal for us.
MR: I was going to say, you’ve spent time in facilities all around the league for shootarounds, workouts, etc. How much do you as players pay attention to details in those facilities?
KL: We know from a locker room standpoint and from where the training staff works that it’s a big deal for us. And even where the court is. I should back up here and say making everything convenient and flow well for the team so that everyone can do their job well is really important. That’s what we’re all looking at, and we know we can walk into this practice facility and have everything state of the art and on hand.
MR: What does it mean to you as a player to have the cutting-edge medical equipment Mayo will provide? KL: That’s another thing, you mentioned the word cutting edge. Mayo provides some of the best medical and orthopedic care in the country and even the world. It’s right up there. It’s great for us, and it’s great for our families that may be in town if they need help with that. Anytime you have Mayo Clinic attached to anything, you know it will be state of the art and respectable.
MR: Can a practice facility like this impact attracting free agents?
KL: Absolutely, that’s a big part of it, too. You walk into a practice facility like that, and seeing the name Mayo Clinic attached to it. It plays a big role, and you want to get better as a player, you want to have the things that other teams have and you want a chance to take your whole career to the next level. This is a big part of doing that.
MR: What did you know about Mayo Clinic prior to this and what did you learn about them during the negotiation of this partnership?
KL: I had been down there a couple times, and just seeing that state of the art facility, meeting the doctors and nurses and the people that work there. It’s like a religion down there. They care so much about their staff, their people that live down there. It’s a really, really great place to be. To bring them to the Twin Cities is pretty cool.
MR: What does it mean to you to have the organization ask your input in how this facility looks?
KL: It’s great. It’s just, they’re doing things the right way. I feel honored that they had me participate and speak in front of those doctors and some of the movers and shakers down there for the Mayo Clinic. I don’t know if they’ve broke ground yet or whatever, but I’m excited this thing’s a go. And I mentioned the infrastructure next door. It’s easier than building from the ground up, and we’re excited it will be ready to go pretty soon.
MR: Is it a big deal to players to have this facility right next door to the arena? A lot of organizations have it out in the suburbs, but this will put Wolves headquarters new, improved and all in one place.
KL: Definitely. Apartment living has been easy for me these six years I’ve been here. Just being able to roll in there and go to Block E is very convenient. It allows me to catch up on all the attention I need being just five minutes away. It’s a big deal for us, and it’s all within 5-10 minutes from me. So that’s really great.