Kevin Love accepts 'warranted' suspension, but Rick Adelman unhappy
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love was apologetic and remorseful on Monday when talking about the now-infamous stomp of Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola that landed him a two-game suspension.
"I think (the suspension) was warranted," Love said after practice at Target Center, shortly after the NBA handed down a two-game ban for Saturday's incident.
"Obviously, the play just worked itself out. I went down there and apologized to the guys in the (Rockets) locker room, the coaches, his teammates, but most importantly him. I was able to seek him out afterwards as well. We got talking about it. As long as (Scola) and the Houston Rockets are OK with it, then I am OK with it."
Coach Rick Adelman, however, wasn't as diplomatic as his 23-year-old All-Star.
"Do I think it is fair? No," Adelman said. "Absolutely not. I don't know the reasoning and they don't tell you the reasoning. I don't know the reasoning for two games. They haven't said anything so you just have to move on."
Love will miss Tuesday's game against the Sacramento Kings and Wednesday's game at the Memphis Grizzlies. Per NBA rules, Love can't travel with the team or even be at the arena on game days.
"I feel like it was a learning experience for me and definitely it won't happen again," Love said. "There were no ill intentions in that step. More than anything. I was trying to get him on the foul on the way up -- wasn't trying to stomp him or anything like that. Hopefully. we can win these next two games."
Love has begun to develop a reputation as a player that whines to the refs too much, and the Scola incident wasn't isolated. Last week, against the Indiana Pacers, Love nearly started a fight after a hard foul on Danny Granger.
Love blames the lockout-shortened season for causing fuses to be a lot shorter than normal and says it isn't just him.
"It has been a chippy year," he said. "It is not only us. It is not only the Pacers or Rockets or nothing like that. It's a lot of games. Guys are tired, games are getting drawn out, guys are getting worn down. For us, it is no different."
"I don't want to be known for that," Love added, regarding his reputation. "I want to be known as a stand-up guy. It was a mistake with a Size-19 shoe. Everyone knows there was no ill intentions."
With Love getting a two-day vacation at home, the Wolves and Adelman now face the dilemma of replacing their best player.
The obvious choice would be to go to rookie Derrick Williams, who recently complained on his Twitter account he feels like a caged lion. Never one to tip his hand, Adelman wouldn't say who gets Love's spot in the starting five, instead saying it will be a group effort to replace him.
"Everybody is going to have their opportunity," he said. "Derrick, (Anthony Tolliver) -- we are going to have to do it by committee. People are going to have to step up. It is like someone getting hurt -- someone has to step up."
A team never wants its best player suspended, but this comes at a particularly rough time for the Wolves, who finally have a .500 record for the first time in five seasons.
"We just take it one game at a time," Love said. "I'll stay in shape and be ready when the time comes. I will definitely be cheering on from home."