Over the past few months, Kevin Love has gone from a marginal All-Star on a perennial laughingstock to the centerpiece of one of the NBA's most promising young teams, and a legitimate MVP candidate. He's been a monster all year, and yet, he's still mostly unknown.
Among superstars, everyone has a backstory. LeBron's the Chosen One,the Humble One, Kobe's the sociopath, Dirk's the goofy German. has never said a word except for that one speech about his mom, but then, that's all we need, isn't it? Meanwhile, there's Love, the NBA's newest superstar, and a guy whose legend is still coming together. For now he's just the white guy who made the All-Star team.
We can do better. Here are some Love stories you may not know about.
- When Kevin Love was born, he cut the umbilical cord himself, then walked out of the hospital and joined a pickup game full of med students. They couldn't believe a baby could palm a basketball. Then he hit a game-winning three and walked away.
- When he was 8 years old, Love got worried about the environment, so he decided to do something about it. The auto industry's been slowly dying ever since.
- This year, Kevin Love used his dueling prominence as an NBA player AND a famous white guy when he brokered a meeting between Rick Ross and Bruce Springsteen. The product of that meeting is a collaborative album, Bosses, that's due to drop in June. Kevin Love sets the summer on FIRE, son.
- Kevin Love is not your role model. He's your role model's role model.
- One time Kevin Love was invited onstage at a Pitbull concert. He walked on stage, grabbed a guitar, and played the entire solo from "Freebird" while the Minneapolis crowd went crazy. Pitbull looked on in disbelief. Then he snapped Pitbull's mic in half and told everyone to go home.
- Grantland's Oral History of Kevin Love.
- He went to the Middle East with the USO last spring. He was supposed to give a speech, play in a 3-on-3 tournament, sign autographs, etc. Next thing you know, Bin Laden's dead.
- "George Washington's cherry tree? F--K George Washington's cherry tree." — Kevin Love as a 10 year-old, taking a chainsaw to a 300-foot Redwood.
- Over the summer, Kevin Love got into a three-point contest with Reggie Miller. Kevin won the first one. "Let's go again," Reggie said. "Best out of three." Kevin said fine, but he wanted to make things interesting. He put 100,000 dollars on the Pauley Pavilion court and said "Let's do this." Reggie doesn't walk around town with $100,000 cash like Kevin Love does, so he put up his Mercedes as collateral. Kevin won again, then walked out to the parking lot and set Reggie's car on fire. Never bet against Kevin Love in a three-point contest.
- He ain't a crip like Snoop, or a blood like Game. Kevin Love stopped the violence.
- When he signed his latest contract, Kevin Love insisted on a clause that requires the to reanimate George Mikan's corpse just so that Love and his teammates can dunk on him. Yeah, a weird guy. But it's gonna be a helluva halftime show.
- Kevin Love is not a role model. Kevin Love is an underwear model. Hey ladies.
- Tragically, the photographer who shot that awkward, unbecoming photo was struck dead by a lighting bolt hours later. It wasn't even raining. (Photo via Presswire/Kelley L Cox. RIP.)
- When he was at UCLA, Kevin Love spent the bulk of his time learning about life with Bill Walton. On psychedelics, the pyramid of success looks like two pyramids. So more like a a diamond, really. A diamond with a million little cracks in it. "And what about all the writing?" you ask. The cracks, man. Cracks in the diamond.
- Kevin Love goes harder than a Russian.
- He spent the first five years of his life living with Pablo Escobar.
- In the future, Kevin Love will declare war on Mark Zuckerberg, and soon afterward, everyone will realize that Facebook is creepy and useless, and the world will watch as Zuckerberg's house of cards burns to the ground.
- The Watch The Throne album came with a bonus video called "Watch The Throne Watch Kevin Love". It's 33 minutes of Kanye and Barack Obama watching Kevin Love highlights and nodding their head, while Jay-Z lights money on fire in the background.
- You thought the Great Alaskan Shootout was cool? Love did it at the convention.
Okay okay. None of those stories were true, and Kevin Love didn't really set Reggie Miller's car on fire in a UCLA parking lot. You probably want some actual facts, right? Well:
- Friday night, Kevin Love had 51 points and 14 rebounds in Oklahoma City, including a three with one second left to send the game to overtime against the best in team in the NBA. The other T'Wolves starters that night? , Montell Webster, , and .
- His next game out, he had 30 points and 21 rebounds.
- Kevin Love leads the league in minutes played and double-doubles, and he's had eight games with at least 30 points and 15 rebounds. Nobody else has done it more than once.
- He's got the fifth-best PER in the NBA, and he's third in win shares behind and Kevin Durant.
- He's averaging 26 points and almost 14 rebounds-a-game. Both of those numbers are better than any season
or ever had. For reference, Charles Barkley averaged 25 and 12 during his '93 MVP season.
- Kevin Love is 23 years old.
Everyone rolled their eyes whensaid he's no longer a "poor man's Larry Bird" this week, but give it some time — and give him some teammates — before you laugh it off completely. Maybe the T'Wolves won't make the playoffs this year, and maybe he didn't kill Osama, grow up with Pablo Escobar, and break bread with Rick Ross and Bruce Springsteen. But out in Minnesota, there's one of the baddest basketball players on earth. This is all just a reminder: Kevin Love is the best big man alive, and he's only getting better. F--K George Washington's cherry tree.