The way Kevin Love keeps playing, he could to be a future Hall of Famer. Even two years ago that statement would have engendered a lot of sideways glances and talk of my being crazy. Now, after back to back seasons of 20.4 and 15.3 boards in 2011 and 24 points and 12.3 boards this season, he’s become the biggest rebounding sensation since Moses Malone.
But he’s not just deft at basketball. Recently he was recruited to become a Ghost. A member of Team Ghost, that is, for “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier” video game, where Love has claimed his role will be the sniper. After shooting 42 and 37 percent the last two seasons from three-point range, we think that role fits him just fine.
Video games wasn’t the only subject we talked to him about last week. Read on to hear his thoughts on the Olympics, Ricky Rubio and more.
Dime: Do you have the patience to be a sniper?
Kevin Love: Yeah I do, I actually think that’s fun for me from what I experience from one-man shooter games it’s always fun to get on the other players’ nerves. For instance it’s always usually my brother with me, it’s always been that way early on. Just kinda picking him off wherever he’s at. It’s always tough to find the sniper. It’s fun to to keep people irritated. and for me as far as transitioning into my basketball game, I’ve extended my range the last couple years so I guess the sniper is well-suited for me.
Dime: Do you do play many video games either during the season or in the offseason?
KL: I just mentioned when I have a chance to go after practice or get in the weight room even in the summer there’s a lot of downtime so you find different ways to pick up certain space. Sometimes you just get complacent or bored and find different things to do. Video games are definitely one of them. Especially whether it’s teammates, family or friends it keeps the competitive juices going. whether it’s sports games or one-man shooter game and on and on and on, it’s a good way to do that.
Dime: This is called Future Soldier, but are there any guys in this draft class who interests you with their skill sets?
KL: You know I don’t watch as much college basketball as I used to. Obviously I watched Kentucky, obviously the championship game and I saw (Anthony) Davis. I saw different guys from there and Kentucky. I know the guys that we have coming in but I’m not really too much in there.
Dime: I’ve talked a lot about this with other players but have you played against fans?
KL: I thought about it before and I think I’m going to have to make another one because I have one that I hold for just my buddies and families and guys I play with on my team. I think I’ll make another one. and open it up to the more general public. I think I might do that on Twitter or Facebook.
Dime: You know, Gordon Hayward said he’s offered tickets to fans who beat him. You might have to toss in something like that.
KL: Wow. It’s a good way to get fans into the game. It’s fun, as far as being competitive goes that’s a way to kind of trash talk and get your fans going and be hands on. I think that could soon come my way.
Dime: Do you have a key to the Target Center?
KL: Nah, I don’t but I can always show up when I want, I just have to talk to the command center and they’ll let me in. That can be easily done, but I do not have a key.
Dime: Do you always need to get a lot of shots up?
KL: I used to do that a lot in high school and do that two or three times a week. I’ll have my trainer with me. We’ll go in the morning after conditioning and then go back at night and get shots up for about 45 minutes. That’s somehting I’ve done in the past three or four summers; it’s just something even when you need to get your mind off something else the gym is always a good place to do that. It’s almost in terms of a holy place for some players.
Dime: Were you a healthy Rubio away from a playoff spot?
KL: Yeah I do think we were. We pressed all year. All year we had to fight it, it was a battle of attrition. I think at one point we had four or five guys out including myself. It just became tough for us and didn’t have enough bodies or enough firepower to or enough guys to sub in with so many games coming our way that it just became tougher and tougher for us. We weren’t able to grind out some games. We just kept seeing that eight spot slip away from us. I think having Ricky go own definitely took the legs out from underneath us, but I think next year whenever he gets back and we make a few good moves and use our money we’ll definitely be fighting for that eight spot.
Dime: Have you talked to Ricky much lately?
KL: He’s doing well; I’ll definitely have to shoot him a text this week or give him a call to see how he’s doing, but as of a few weeks ago he was in good spirits. He’s a kid who’s going to work very hard to get back and he loves the game of baskeball.
Dime: Now will this be your first Olympic tryout experience or were you on the Selects team (that scrimmages against Olympic teams)?
KL: I played in the world championships in 2010. That was a big deal for me to be around that caliber of coaches and players and Jerry Colangelo, the bar that they set every day to be better players and a better team was a lot of fun to be around. I came up through the junior national team.. U16, U17, U18, U19 and I also played in the selects team in 2008 when I was drafted that scrimmaged the Dream Team. I’ve been around USA Basketball for a long time and it’s always a pleasure to be a part of it.
Dime: Do you structure your offseason differently with an Olympics possibly out there?
KL: Not really, I approach every summer basically the same way. I try to go harder but more than anything at this point I just try to train smarter and what’s going to be best for me going forward. Being 23 I want to take care of my body as much as I can so I’m continuing to stay strong. As far as the offseason goes, just working on different parts of my game. As far as the Olympic spot yeah it’s definitely up for grabs but I feel like I’ve proven myself to make that team.
Should he be an Olympic starter?
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