I recently had the opportunity to talk to Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love. He took part in the Manhattan Beach Open on Thursday afternoon, which is part of the Jose Cuervo Beach Volleyball Series.
While I had the opportunity to talk to Love about his participation in the volleyball tournament, I was also able to talk to him about one of the things near and dear to both of our hearts, Basketball.
Love shared with me the players he tries to model his game off of.
Kevin Love gave credit to Pete Maravich and the great Boston Celtics teams from the 1980s as influences growing up.
“I watched tape of the Boston Celtics of the 1980s and Pete Maravich...One of my favorite Maravich videos is the one where he spun the ball on his finger forever,” said Love.
Another name Kevin Love mentioned was Boston Celtics legend Kevin McHale. McHale was simply a magician in the paint, with his arsenal of low post moves.
Opposing players attempting to guard McHale were in what became known as “the torture chamber.”
If Love is able to master just a few of McHale’s post moves throughout his career, fans will be remembering Love long after he retires.
It’s easy to see why an aspiring basketball player would want to model his game off of Larry Bird’s.
Bird’s passing and shooting were in a league of their own, but his overall understanding of the game and natural ability to make those around him better, separate Bird from being great to on one of the greatest of all-time.
Any kid, future NBA All-Star or not, who watched basketball in the late 80s and throughout the 1990s, wanted to be “like Mike.”
The first name Kevin Love mentioned was Bill Walton. “I grew up in Oregon, so definitely Bill Walton when he was playing for the Trail Blazers,” said Love.
This should come as no surprise. Before his career became plagued with injuries, Walton was one of the most gifted, fundamentally sound centers in the game, having honed his craft under John Wooden at UCLA.