Flip Saunders says Minnesota fans will not forgive Kevin Love for leaving them

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Kevin Love is going to get booed badly when he returns to Minnesota in January.

Love first plays Minnesota as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night in Cleveland, but when the Cavs head to Minnesota next month he is going to hear more booing than LeBron James will on Christmas Day. Miami fans are just more laid back, plus they have a couple of banners hanging in the rafters that LeBron helped bring them.

Minnesota fans see things differently — they see Love as deserting them, something Timberwolves coach/GM Flip Saunders told Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press.

“Minnesota people are pretty loyal. You turn on Minnesota, they don’t forgive you,” Saunders said after practice on Monday. “So I think people probably appreciated him while he was here. But you leave under the terms that he did, just the way Minnesota people are, they’re not pretty forgiving along those lines.”

Timberwolves analyst and writer Derek James agrees.

This is not going to be like the first time in Cleveland when LeBron came back with the Heat, it’s not that level of venom, but there will be boos. Plenty of loud ones, every time he touches the ball. We’ll see if that starts to get into Love’s head.

But the first game Tuesday Love gets in the friendly confines of Cleveland, where he likely puts up big numbers on his old team.