NBA / Jan 27, 2010 / 9:30 am

Al Jefferson Addresses Trade Rumors And The Alleged Tension With Kevin Love

Al Jefferson (photo. Bethany Gilbert)

Right before the start of the season, I interviewed Wolves forward Al Jefferson for a big feature that ended up running in Dime #53. At the time, Big Al was still at home in Mississippi and was extremely optimistic about the season. He was telling me about how he thought this could be the year he makes his first All-Star team. Jefferson also thought that Minnesota could be a surprise team, much like the ’08-09 Blazers team.

Here we are almost five months later and the Wolves are dead last in the Western Conference with a 9-36 record (last year they were 16-29 at this time). Jefferson’s struggled with new coach, Kurt Rambis’ triangle offense early in the season and his numbers (18.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg) are down from last year (23.1 ppg, 10.9 rpg). To top things off, there were rumors in the media that he and Kevin Love were feuding and there is even speculation that the Wolves may be currently shopping him.

Right as he was leaving the T-Wolves’ locker room to do some pregame work on the court before their game against the Knicks last night, I was able to catch up with Big Al…

Dime: How disappointing has this season been, considering you had such high expectations?
Al Jefferson: Where did you hear we had high expectations from!?

Dime: You told me that over the summer.
AJ: I did say that!? What I say?

Dime: You said that you thought you guys could maybe compete for the playoffs.
AJ: I said that!? Oh man…it was too hot there in Mississippi (laughs). Nah…you know, I don’t think it’s too much of a disappointing season, it’s more of a learning season. There’s a new offense, new coaches, new players. So, we’ve been just trying to get used to everything. We’re getting used to it now though.

Dime: You’ve played a lot better in the month of January. What’s been the difference from your slow start?
AJ: Just getting my feel back. My knee’s feeling a whole lot better. Also getting my touch back. It took a little longer than I thought it would take. But I’ve never had an injury like that before. It’s coming along though, it’s going a lot better.

Dime: Does it bother you when you hear trade rumors about yourself?
AJ: It’s a part of the business. I’ve been traded before, I know how it goes. But this time of year, there’s always going to be rumors. But that’s why they call them rumors – don’t mean they’re true. If it do happen, it’s just part of the business.

Dime: It has also been in the media that there is tension between you and Kevin Love. How do you respond to that?
AJ: That’s B.S. to me. Whoever saying that obviously doesn’t know what’s going on. Kevin Love is like my son. We have a great relationship so we can’t even worry about what people say.

Dime: There’s 37 games to go. How do you want to finish off the year?
AJ: Just get better. Get better as a team and get better personally. If I can finish strong and stay healthy, we have a better chance to come back next year and start from scratch and try to make the playoffs.

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  • AdvancedMind

    Like his son? Hes only like 5 years older then Love, thats suspect. I wonder if Love calls Al DADDY.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    someone explain to me why Minny (Kevin McHale) drafted OJ Mayo and then traded him for Kevin Love?

    WHAT THE HELL WAS THE POINT OF THAT?!!!?

    at the time, the Wolves already had Al Jefferson (and NO backcourt), so why did they trade Mayo?

    I still think they should have kept OJ Mayo and allow him and Al Jefferson to grow and play together

  • hahns

    hahaha al daddy….

    anyway, kinda funny to see him backtrack at the beginning of the interview- i like the honesty

  • ldsfkj

    dang imagine that…flynn and oj mayo with jefferson and eventually rubio..would have been much more appealing. MATT BONNER

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    “Kevin Love is like my son.”

    That;s hilarious. Big Al just turned 25 and K-Love is 21.

  • http://dime eyes

    The Timberwolves starting 2 guard is Corey Brewer. They also have a head coach that thinks he’s Phil Jackson. He cant run or teach this young team the triangle which many players struggle to learn. Whoever is in charge of drafting over there is clueless. This team is terrible on paper & the court. Al Jefferson isn’t really a 1option. Kevin Love is Poooooooor Man David Lee & okay. Flynn is being asked to play to his weakness & learn something totally new. Which makes no sense because they drafted him due to his scoring & dominating fo the ball abiility.

    The other day I read how sorry they were for Politically Correct Stephen Curry. How about the other 60-70% percent of players who go to crap organizations where winning isn’t even on the list. You have to listen to a coach who although may have no clue & control your destiny or success for a while in this league. How do you get blown out by the KNICKS. LOL.

    Donovan made the smart decision to stay at Florida & I’m suprised Taurean Green didn’t get a chance to play. He was as bad as Duhon & Brewer who has gotten better is better relegated to the bench. Ellington is one dimensional. Gomes is productive but okay would be good for a contender. Very savvy player. Sessions is just a back up at best. Damien Wilkins. If you’re own family don’t cosign that says a lot. Gerald was better than him. It’s just sad to watch some of these teams play. You could field a better team than that for free

    What he meant by the son comment. Was he mentors him & take cares of him. Let’s stop looking for an issue or problem. If Peter Vescey takes interest don’t worry we’ll get to the bottom of it? Garnett was Tim Duncan & better w/out a good coach and GREAT SUPPORTING STAFF. Think about that & see how easy it is to judge a player based of his team which he has very little control over. As good as the Lakers are supposedly. Everyteam in the league can hang with them for the most part. While they have one of the Greatest Players to ever play the game. I feel bad for every player that’s in a negative losing situation. With a clueless owner,GM,Scout dept,Coach etc. Could you imagine but I know you make a lot of money so shut up & play

  • b

    pretty cold questions to ask right before dude is about to take the court.

    i was waiting for “so how confident are you in your lead over the nets?”

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Wonder if he be like “Who’s your daddy” on the court lol.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Jack J

    OJ Mayo would have been great with the Timberwolves, but don’t smash on KLove just yet, kid’s a beast. Together Al and Kevin make up one of the strongest young frontcourts in the league. Dynamic scoring guards are easier to come by than big men who can rebound and pass like Love can.

    that all being said, i would have taken Mayo with the pick originally

  • johnny

    The Wolves and Grizz agreed that OJ Mayo had more trade value than Kevin Love. That is why the Wolves won every other aspect of that trade. The Grizz had to give up the 3rd best player in the deal (Mike Miller) and take back the worst contract (Marko Jaric.)