LIVE › 9-11:59 p.m. Sports Center Tonight
NEXT › 11 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter
Midnight ESPN SportsCenter
Updated: February 2nd, 2013 6:19am
Reusse's Reality Script: Episode 9 (Kevin Love)

Reusse's Reality Script: Episode 9 (Kevin Love)

by Patrick Reusse
1500ESPN.com

Kevin Love reinjured his right hand in the third quarter of a game in Denver on Jan. 3. The Timberwolves upset the Nuggets 101-97 that night. Five nights later, they defeated Atlanta 108-103 in Target Center.

In the off-the-wall world of Twitter and commenting on newspaper articles and blogs, there were a few suggestions that the Wolves were better off without Love.

We in the media enjoy taking the goofy theories of a few commenters and running with them, so that became something repeated by reporters covering Wolves games and on sports talk radio.

More than three weeks later, this was being mentioned to Kobe Bryant before the Lakers played the Wolves on Friday night at Target Center.

So, a few knotheads react nonsensically to a Timberwolves' victory, and it's still being treated as if that was the consensus with the local basketball crowd.

"Yeah, Kobe, people here think the Wolves are better off without Kevin Love'' _ followed, presumably, by guffaws from the media.

No, Kobe, fans here never thought the Wolves would be better off without Kevin Love. A couple of dozen nitwits might have offered that opinion to draw attention to themselves with an on-line comment, but, please, let's stop offering this as the widely held opinion by a fan base.

I didn't like the Love for O.J. Mayo trade when it was made during the June 2008 draft and I was wrong.

The main reason for that opinion came from covering the Final Four that April in San Antonio, and watching UCLA freshman Love shrink against Memphis' Joey Dorsey in the semifinals.

Famously, I ripped Love after his first exhibition for the Timberwolves at Target Center. I still hear about that one, which is fine. And even after that column proved folly, as he was becoming an NBA All-Star, I still saw him as a player more interested in his numbers than actually trying to advance his team's cause.

Example A of this would be an ongoing disinterest in playing defense.

That said, no one _ media member, blogger or fan _ taking a serious look at the 2012-13 Timberwolves thought it was a good idea to remove Love's points, rebounds and the defensive attention required against him, in favor of a Dante Cunninham-Derrick Williams combination at power forward.

The Wolves are 2-12 since Love was injured ... 1-11 since the win over Atlanta. The latest losing streak after Friday night is six.

As an entity, the guards are so substandard that Luke Ridnour once again was the guy trying to guard Kobe down the stretch ... Luke Ridnour!

Cunningham is a backup, nothing more. Williams already is a failure as a No. 2 overall pick _ and perhaps to fail as a productive NBA player, period.

Kirilenko has hit a wall, Pek can't finish, and his alleged backup, the Stiemer, has been so bad that he received zero minutes on Friday.

All of this, and, "Yeah, Kobe, the people here think the Wolves are better off without Love" ... a yuck, a yuck, a yuck.

No, the people who follow the Wolves don't feel that way, Kobe, and they never did.

Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He co-hosts SportsTalk from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and hosts The Ride with Reusse from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. He also co-hosts "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Patrick | @1500ESPN_reusse | The Ride with Reusse
6627