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News » WOLVES NOTES 2009-01-30

WOLVES NOTES 2009-01-30

WOLVES NOTES 2009-01-30
The day before Al Jefferson discovers whether he has made his first All-Star Game, Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love was left out of All-Star weekend's rookie-sophomore game.

And he, his teammates and his coaches weren't happy about it.

Love used a colorful word to explain that the voting by NBA assistant coaches was nonsense and said their decision "could have" inspired his 17-point, 10-rebound night Wednesday.

The assistants instead chose Chicago's Derrick Rose, Miami's Michael Beasley, Memphis' O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, the Los Angeles Clippers' Eric Gordon, New Jersey's Brook Lopez and Portland's Greg Oden and Rudy Fernandez.

"Absolutely embarrassing," Wolves guard Mike Miller said. "I can't think of two or three rookies playing better than him right now. He's done more to help us win in the last month ..."

Love said he will use the five-day All-Star break to return to Los Angeles, work on his game and rest. He was averaging 8.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in 23 minutes a game entering Wednesday's game against Detroit, and at age 20 has proven himself to be one of the league's most efficient rebounders.

"I'm still going to be upset because I'm so competitive and I would have loved to be in that game," said Love, who has moved in recent weeks to No. 2 on's rankings of rookies after being out of the top 10 earlier this season.

"I thought it was all political. I've just got to keep playing the way I'm playing. There's always next year as a sophomore."

Wolves coach Kevin McHale called Love's omission a "travesty."

"That's utterly ridiculous; who picks that team?" McHale said. When told assistant coaches do, he said. "No way."

Said Wolves assistant Jerry Sichting slyly: "You can never trust assistant coaches. We know nothing."

Play on

Wolves point guard Sebastian Telfair started the game but played only 20 minutes because of a bruised thigh he suffered Monday in Milwaukee and foul trouble.

"He was really gimpy out there," McHale said. "I felt bad. He was playing O.K., but I just thought there was no use overextending him. We lost our ability to use his speed."

Al an All-Star?

All-Star Game reserves will be announced during a one-hour TNT telecast beginning at 6 p.m. today. Might Love's exclusion from the rookie team foreshadow the Western Conference coaches' voting?

Jefferson's main competition appears to be four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal, whose Suns are playing host to this season's game.

If Jefferson isn't chosen, there will be many other chances, McHale said.

"He'll make a lot of them," McHale said. "You miss a couple early in your career when you should have gotten them, and you make some later in your career when you have no business making it and your reputation gets you there.

"It'll all equal out for him. We'll see what happens."

Sing, sing a song

Love stood on the Target Center scorer's table after the morning shootaround and, as part of his rookie duties, sang an unabashed version of "Happy Birthday" to veteran Mark Madsen, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Wednesday.

"When his career is over 20, 25 years from now, he might have a singing career ahead of him," Madsen said.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 30, 2009


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