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Kevin Love: In Finding the Minnesota Timberwolves' Identity

Jess Matthew Beltran@sportsalchemistCorrespondent IIFebruary 8, 2011

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 15:  Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves high fives teammate Martell Webster #5 during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 15, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 128-122.  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.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Kevin Love towers everyone in the Timberwolves locker room. Even though the two twin towers Darko Milicic and Kusta Koufos (both seven-feet tall) are two inches taller than him.

He is in a different level, a different groove aand a man on a mission, even though his team dwells in the bottom part of the NBA standings.

Kevin grew up watching all the instructional videos and countless tapes of great passing big men in NBA history. And one thing instilled on his mind… those NBA centers never gave up.

Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Wes Unseld carried their teams to NBA championships, but they never jump on the bandwagon going to other teams to get it. It wasn’t much about loyalty, but it was how well you carry the team from day one all the way to the championship.

It’s a measurement of greatness. And Kevin Love already knew his role when he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He knows he is not there to win as many games as he wanted to. He is there to make an identity for the team.

The great passing big men in the NBA have one common denominator, and that is being unselfish. Love doesn’t count his rebounds or his scoring. He is happy to set screens, grab the loose balls and contribute to the team, even if he has limited minutes.

He was never been through the All-Stars. He wasn’t even part of the lineup on the rookie challenge way back in 2008. But he wasn’t even thinking about it. He’s just too focused and too drawn to making his mark in the NBA. Making those tiny little steps that could turn someday into one big leap.

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Love got the spot of the injured Yao Ming in the upcoming NBA All-Stars. He’s making noise lately with a 30-30 (points and rebounds) game, a feat that was last accomplished way back in 1982 by Moses Malone. It’s a product of hard work and being an old school player.

Yes Kevin Love towers everyone in the Wolves’ locker room. In fact, he towers over all of Minnesota. He thanks his father, former NBA player Stan Love, for all the values and the videos he grew up watching. Slowly but surely, everything is falling into place. It’s not about his All-Star selection, not that it doesn’t matter to him. 12-39 isn’t much to be proud of, but at least somewhere, somehow he got the recognition. Recognition he has been focusing on since day one.

Rightfully, he towers everyone because he is slowly becoming the face of the franchise as an old school player who finally transformed the team’s identity.

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