Kevin Love Slams J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham for Sulking on the Bench

Joe FlynnContributor IJanuary 9, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 8: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves rebounds against the Phoenix Suns on January 8, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team in chaos. They have a legit star in power forward Kevin Love, but they haven't been able to consistently win with him.

Wednesday night's heartbreaking 104-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns was particularly tough to stomach. Playing on national television, with a chance to climb above .500, they fell victim to a game-winning jumper from Phoenix swingman Gerald Green with 3.9 seconds remaining.

In the aftermath of yet another gut-wrenching loss, Love went to the media and called out his teammates, J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham, for sulking on the bench instead of joining the team during timeouts in the fourth quarter.

Per Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

That last quote is reference to the criticisms Love faced last season when he didn't join the team while rehabbing from injury, according to Krawczynski. Neither Barea nor Cunningham was injured. Both played in the game, though not much in the fourth.

Love and Barea have a somewhat checkered put it mildly. This is the second incident to occur in the last two weeks.

Per Krawczynski, Barea was angered by Love's comments after a Dec. 30 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Love let it be known to the press that the Wolves' bench play was unacceptable after the second unit scored a meager five combined points in the 100-98 loss. Incidentally, it was Barea who scored all five of those points.

The problems between Love and Barea go at least as far back as the 2011-12 season, Barea's first with Minnesota, when the two players had to be separated toward the end of a March 18, 2012, loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Clearly these two have issues. For the sake of the team, they should have it out in private. Instead, Love and Barea are airing their grievances for all to see. And when two teammates fight in public, there are no winners.