Not only is Kevin Love one of the league’s rising superstars, coming off a season in which he made his first All-Star team and led the league in rebounding. But the Minnesota Timberwolves star is also proving to be making the most of his time during the NBA lockout.
I had the chance to talk to Love on Thursday, regarding his participation in the Manhattan Beach Open, which is part of the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series. The tournament is considered to be one of the sport’s “crown jewels.”
“The overall experience has been great. I have had the chance to build relationships with other volleyball players and the people from Jose Cuervo,” said Love.
I also talked to Love about what motivated him to want to try his hand at beach volleyball.
“To try a new sport and put myself out there,” said the UCLA alum. Love also went on to talk about the skills he uses while playing both basketball and volleyball.
“A lot of the skills I use in basketball crossed over well into volleyball. Blocking at the net, anticipation and my height are skills and attributes I use in both sports,” Love said.
Ok, so Love must have had some prior experience playing volleyball before he started his training earlier in the summer, right?
“I have no prior experience, except the training I started three or four weeks ago,” he said.
Ironically, Love’s coach during his training was Jesse Rambis, the son of Love’s former NBA coach Kurt Rambis. I asked Love if being coached by his former coach’s son was ever awkward.
“Not at all,” he said. “I am close with the entire Rambis family. I have known Jesse longer than Kurt.”
Unfortunately, Love and his teammate, Hans Stolfus, were eliminated Thursday by the tournament’s top-seeded team, Sean Scott and John Hyden, who Love said “are two of the best players in the world.”
But does that mean Love is through playing volleyball?
“I am going to keep playing, now that I have some experience and the basics of the game down,” said Love.
Love’s desire to play volleyball in light of the NBA lockout is a classic example of making lemonade when life gives you lemons. Or in this case, spiking a volleyball when life steals your basketball.