Say what you will about David Kahn — and trust me, we will — the man knows why he still is pulling a paycheck.
And he said at his press conference Thursday that he wants to make sure Kevin Love gets an extension on his rookie deal. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune had the tweet.
Kahn on re-signing Love: “It certainly is a priority. I expect Kevin will be a big part of this franchise for a number of years.”
Don’t screw this up Minny. Love does not qualify for the Derrick Rose rule, so he gets a rookie-max deal. Give it to him.
This is a new, thinner Kevin Love getting an extension, by the way. The Portland Tribune has this note (via SLAM).
Minnesota’s 6-9 power forward will enter training camp on Dec. 9 weighing in at 240 pounds, down about 25 from his playing weight at the end of last season. ‘Haven’t been this low since my freshman year in high school,’ quips Love, 23, the former Lake Oswego High standout.
The secret, clearly, is beach volleyball. Still not sure he fits in a pair of skinny jeans, but better conditioning is a good sign for his production this year.
For NBA owners — even during a lockout — this remains a frightening proposition: Their best players getting injured representing their country in international competitions.
So far through this summer of Olympic qualifying there have been some injuries but fortunately nothing major.
Now you can add the Timberwolves new No. 1 import Ricky Rubio to the list of guys who have been injured. He sprained his ankle Saturday in a game against Slovenia and sat out Sunday’s rematch, according to FIBA.com. He will be evaluated again in a few days, according to the report. Which means he should be fine when EuroBasket starts on Aug. 31, where Spain will be a favorite to win it all (the top two get spots in the 2012 Olympics tournament).
Also, Rudy Fernandez injured his right arm in the first half and sat out the second half of Sunday’s game for Spain. Fernandez is now part of the Mavericks, where owner Mark Cuban has long expressed concern about these international competitions and what they do to his players. And yes, Dirk Nowitzki is playing for Germany in EuroBasket.
The overseas game allows more contact and physical play than the NBA, so you can expect to see a few more.
The biggest injury of the tune-ups so far remains Omri Casspi, who tweaked his knee and likely will miss EuroBasket all together for Israel.
These injuries are especially big for NBA players during the lockout, as they have to get their own insurance. It’s also a concern for the countries’ basketball programs, which had to take out insurance against the contracts of those players in case they get injured and then cut by their NBA teams.
Of course, with an extended lockout everyone will have plenty of time to heal.
The players are not winning the public relations battle with the lockout. Frankly, they can’t. The average sports fan knows the owners are ultra-rich, but they don’t relate to 20-somethings making millions. The players tend to get blamed for a lockout, no matter whose not budging.
The NBA players realize they are going to come out of these negotiations with less than they had going in, like almost everyone in this economy.
But they are not going to submit and tap out. And that means games will be lost. For an ide of how the players view things, check out these quotes from Kevin Love, who spoke with Andy Katz of ESPN.
“We all know we’ll have to sacrifice but something has to be done,” Love told ESPN.com Tuesday night. “It has to be sooner than later. We have to get the ball rolling. We can’t wait around until October or November and then nothing gets done. The owners will keep stalling and obviously they have more means than us to lock us out.”
“I want to play basketball,” Love said. “I want us — the players — to sign a great deal. I want us to make a compromise with the owners but not sign what they’re proposing. We’ll play hardball if we have to. I want there to be an NBA season but it’s also apparent that we’re going to miss games.”
Games are going to be lost. And that is going to hurt the NBA more than the owners and players seem to realize. A lockout in this economy is going to anger fans and it is going to be a long time before they come back.
But please guys, no urgency in meeting. Take your time.