Kevin Love : A Young Arvydas Sabonis

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMarch 11, 2008

Kevin Love. The newly appointed Pac-10 Player and Freshman of the Year.

I'll be the first to admit I thought the awards belonged to another.  I must reflect on the young man's accomplishments and show some respect.

So bravo Kevin Love.  Congrats on your hardware. After watching UCLA's latest nail-biter, I thought with Love's smooth handle on the ball, soft hands, and good scoring ability from anywhere on the floor, who does Kevin Love play like?

And then it hit me : Lithuanian retiree Arvydas Sabonis. Mr. Love's style is just too similar and coherent with the former Portland Trail Blazer to be ignored or shrugged off.

Let me begin.

Arvydas Sabonis was a first round draft pick, and in whatever year Love decides to declare eligibility, he will be one as well.

Both were shown no love from their hometown and country as Kevin was as good as dead to Oregon fans after turning down the Ducks and Beavers to become a California golden boy. Sabonis, was too involved with an incident with his own territory as his second attempt to get into the NBA was blocked while the Soviet Union was involved within a beef during the time, because of their political welfare.

Kevin and Sabonis are both excellent passers for men their size. Arvydas was known to slip in several behind the back dimes to teammates and Love is known to throw a bomb or two during the course of a game. But what separates them from good and decent passers are there knacks and the extra "oomph" they put behind each pass.

Take for instance Love. He throws a chest pass from one end of the floor to another every game. It is difficult for even anybody to do that. It requires a significant amount of strength to get it that far and stamina to keep firing them out there.

Next, is their versatility. Either guy can be at home in the paint or out on the perimeter. Love has taken the art of three point shooting and added it to his repertoire making him even more deadly. Arvydas Sabonis was legendary from beyond the arc, at one point he was the Trail Blazers second-best three point shooter!

Lastly, both guys rebound bigger than their height. What I mean by this is they make themselves look bigger by rebounding the ball a certain way, differently from their opponents. Both attack the ball with both of their hands, were other rebounders only use one limiting their power needed to grasp the ball. No doubt Love will be a better player than Sabonis, but the comparisons are saying something: Kevin Love A Young Arvydas Sabonis.