Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
2013-14 Statistics: 26.1 points, 13.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks, 27.7 PER
Previous Ranking: 7
If the only determinant for superstardom were raw numbers, Kevin Love would rank a whole lot higher than No. 5. But because fuzzier things like demeanor, leadership and the entirely vague "it factor" are also concerns, the statistically dominant Love will have to settle for the fifth spot.
To be frank, he would have checked in a position or two higher before his recent screed against a couple of less-than-enthusiastic teammates.
Per Nate Sandell of ESPN, Love said after another gut-wrenching late-game defeat, "We can't have two guys sitting at the end of the bench, who play good minutes, just sitting there and not getting up at timeouts. We all need to be in this together. That kind of pisses me off. We're supposed to be a team."
That little snippet earns Love an "A" for content but a solid "F" for execution.
Complaints like this need to stay behind closed doors. If Love is upset about the bench demeanor of J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham, he should be telling them about it in the locker room. Airing them out to the media is a bad look, and it speaks to the crumbling morale in Minnesota.
There's absolutely no question that Love is one of the NBA's elite talents. His presence on the floor is the only thing keeping the Wolves from being a bottom-five team in the league.
But he can't just crush his teammates publicly like this, even when what he's saying is completely justified.
Superstars should know better.