ATTENTION: Kevin Love is not the best player in the NBA and he never will be. He’s just simply not athletic enough. That conversation belongs to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. That being said, Love is an underrated superstar. He can rebound and he can shoot the long ball, he is the poor man’s (maybe really, really poor man’s) Dirk Nowitzki. I’m not trying to insult Kevin Love, personally he’s my favorite player, but it doesn’t matter if he can be the best player on the team that can win a championship.
I’m sure we all learned at some time or the other the saying: "There’s no I in team." I don’t have the newest dictionary, but I’m pretty sure the spelling hasn’t changed. It’s nice for teams to have elite players to lead them to the promised land and it may be convenient to pair some of those together to make super teams, but you can still build piece by piece.
David Kahn has been under criticism since day one in Minnesota, but look at what he’s built. Sure this might be his second rebuild of his own team, but let’s live in the present. Take away Ricky Rubio’s ACL tear last year and the Minnesota Timberwolves make or barely miss the playoffs.
The team has gotten better over the offseason, too. They’ve picked up Chase Budinger and Alexy Shevid. Not to mention former NBA All-Stars Brandon Roy and Andrei Kirilenko. Granted the first two aren’t household names and the last two have been out of the league for a year. Wolves fans can all remember worse rosters than that.
Derrick Williams will be back looking to improve on his lackluster rookie season. Ricky Rubio will be back hopefully by December after his knee injury. Nikola Pekovic will also be back, but less of him. Pekovic has dropped some weight and put on some muscle as training camp is about to fire up.
Is it imperative to the Wolves success for Kevin Love to be the team's best player?
Am I saying the Wolves are going to win the NBA Finals this year? No. Trust me, I want them to. But it’s hard to ignore the likes of the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers. What I’m trying to say is: Love doesn’t have to be "the guy" for this team to make a run. This team has some real good ball players and they all have different skills.
Kevin Love isn’t the best passer in the world, Ricky Rubio probably is. Kevin Love isn’t the best defensively, Andrei Kirilenko is a three-time member of the NBA All-Defensive teams. Kevin Love isn’t very athletic, Derrick Williams is very athletic and has the potential to be very dangerous.
NBA teams are still teams, not just star clusters. Does having a trio of stars like Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh or Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash help you get closer? Hell yes it does, but they’re still teams.
Twelve guys on the bench wearing uniforms each night and 9-12 might not get in every night, but No. 10 might get in a game once and dominate. That’s the beauty of team sports. It’s a team. This isn’t golf or tennis or professional bull riding, this is a team. Together Every Aching Moment = TEAM.