Q&A: Kevin Love At The NBA Draft Lottery
Q&A: Kevin Love At The NBA Draft Lottery
Editor’s Note: Timberwolves.com spoke with All-Star power forward Kevin Love via phone after Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery in New York City. Love made the trip on behalf of the Wolves alongside President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders, and he was the lone representative for Minnesota on stage during the live lottery announcement. The Wolves retained their spot in the Draft order and will select ninth on June 27. Below is the Q&A with Love ranging from the Draft itself, the Wolves, Flip Saunders and his health after undergoing hand and knee surgeries this season.
Mark Remme: Kevin, what was the experience like for you being part of the Draft Lottery?
Kevin Love: It was a great experience for me. Just being my second time here, obviously it was a little different now that I’ve been through the league a few years now. It obviously would’ve been a lot better if we would’ve moved up in the Draft. But I told [Wolves public relations senior coordinator] Aaron [Seehusen] that I’ll take the blame for not moving up, but at least we didn’t move back. The experience was great. Going to these NBA events, it’s fun to be an ambassador for the game and represent the Wolves and the league on this platform.
MR: Does being at the Lottery bring back memories for you, given you were a Lottery pick in 2008?
KL: It’s definitely nostalgic. You come here and you’re reminded where you come from and where you’re going. You look around and you see people who are being interviewed for the first time in this setting. It’s fun to see them, and I remember I was actually there back in the day. You have to step back and put it into perspective that we are part of the event but we also are really living our dreams. These guys are about to live their dreams.
MR: Give me the scoop on the Ricky Rubio good luck action figure. Whose idea was it?
KL: It came from one of my buddies back home. I knew we were picking ninth but it didn’t really register with me. I originally had a doll. This was an action figure I had on stage, but I had a doll that I overnighted to myself and it never came. I called someone from the NBA to help me out and that was a plus. It still got the crowd laughing, though.
MR: What do you hope will come out of this draft? Can this team find an impact player?
KL: There are gems out there no matter where you pick. There are people who pick outside the Lottery who end up with significant picks on their team. I really think there is value out there, and it’s all going to depend on what Flip wants to do. We would’ve liked to move up, that would’ve given us some other options. But I think with who we have, with a healthy team we most likely wouldn’t have been here. If we can put that in the past, we’ll be in good shape.
MR: Speaking of Flip, what is your history with him. Did you know him before he took the Wolves’ President of Basketball Operations position?
KL: I had just heard stories and known him from past times shaking hands when he coached other teams. But before games that’s all I knew of him. It was great getting to know him and get his perspective on things. He’s a guy who has great perspective on this league. It’s great knowing he’ll be talking with Rick [Adelman] about this league.
MR: It does sound like Rick will be back next year. What does that do for this team given you are right there, when healthy, on the cusp of a postseason berth?
KL: It’s very important. He’s a Hall of Fame coach, another guy like Flip who has been there, done that and has so much experience. Most people who have been around the team know I have a personal relationship with him as well. I look forward to playing for him moving forward and I do think he’ll be back and have a successful and fulfilling season next year.
MR: How’s your recovery going?
KL: I’m back to, if not full health, I’m hovering right around it. It’s very exciting for me as far as getting back into this offseason and trying to work on my game.
MR: Have you been able to play yet?
KL: I’ve really done everything but been on the court. Lucky for me, I’ve been shooting around a couple times and the touch is still there. The hand feels great, the knees feel great. I’ve been working out and doing some strength and conditioning. I’ve been feeling great, no setbacks at all.
MR: Will you be working out with anyone from the team in L.A. this summer?
KL: I plan to be working out with Ricky for a couple days in June. I’ve also got D-Will at the gym where I lift. I want to try to get to UCLA, have a minicamp where I can get out there and play.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.