For everyone else still stunned over the Minnesota Timberwolves' owner and general manager downright daring the franchise's best player to leave for free agency in two years, Kevin Love promises to be a professional, promises All-Star performance and productivity. Over the organization's refusal to designate him as the cornerstone, though, there come no promises of forgiveness from Love. No assurance it won't chase him out the door and out of the franchise forever someday.
"I don't know who labels people stars, but even [T'wolves owner] Glen Taylor said: I don't think Kevin Love is a star, because he hasn't led us to the playoffs," Love told Yahoo! Sports. "I mean, it's not like I had much support out there.
"That's a tough pill to swallow."
In the end, Love never wants to feel like he's pitted against young point guard Ricky Rubio, because he adores him as a teammate and a talent. Yet, the reality is unmistakable: For all of Kahn's missed picks, failed signings and flawed trades, Rubio is the player whom the GM can take full credit. Someday, Kahn wants Rubio to be his five-year, max-out star, but will Rubio want to stay in Minnesota should Love walk out the door?
"It was a projection over a sure thing," Love says. "There's no question there was an agenda here. A different agenda."
"I have a very, very good memory, and I always remember the people who have done right by me, and the people who have done wrong by me," he says. "It will be embedded in my brain, and something I won't forget about. There's no telling what will happen. I would love to compete for a championship in Minnesota, but â€¦"
Between now and his 2015 opt-out, Love wants to be clear: Around him, he doesn't want merely a playoff team. He wants a team that contends. "And that's on me to do my part, to get us there," but the organization has lost the benefit of the doubt with Love. When it's time for every franchise in the NBA to clear cap space and try to sign him, Love simply understands: "I'll have the leverage."
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