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Kevin Love Willing to Become Leader for 'Immature' Timberwolves

Dec 21, 2010 – 2:45 AM
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Chris Tomasson

Chris Tomasson %BloggerTitle%

Kevin Love
LOS ANGELES -- The young Minnesota Timberwolves need a leader. Why not Kevin Love?

Yes, the power forward is just a third-year man. But with averages this season of 20.8 points and 15.5 rebounds, he's earned respect throughout the NBA. Love is just 22, but this is a team with just one player older than 25 and nobody in their 30s.

"I think that's the worst game we've played period,'' Love said after his Timberwolves (6-23) were walloped, 113-90, by the Clippers on Monday night at the Staples Center for their sixth straight loss, all on the road. "We didn't execute anything. Nothing. All of us.

"We're a young team. Immature. There are things we need to take more seriously, especially in shootaround. Just all of us. There's no leader on this team yet. Somebody needs to step up, including myself, and we just need to grow up. We all need to grow up.''

Later, Love was asked if he's the guy to lead these young Timberwolves. After all, he's been the talk of the NBA this season for his rebounding, which included entering Monday with 14 straight games of 14 or more rebounds. He had just 12 points and 10 rebounds Monday, but at least that stretched his double-figure boards streak to 15 games in a row.

"There's no leader on this team yet. Somebody needs to step up, including myself, and we just need to grow up. We all need to grow up."
-- Kevin Love
"Yeah, I think so. I definitely can,'' Love said of emerging as the leader the team so desperately needs. "I need to lead by example. I've had too many outs defensively and things I need to get better at. But once I'm consistent on every spectrum, every single night, I think I can be that guy. As far as right now, we just don't have it.''

No, the Timberwolves don't. The only player on the team older than 25 is point guard Luke Ridnour at 29. But Ridnour just joined the team this season and he's not that vocal by nature.

Can Love be a vocal leader?

"I've been through it,'' he said. "I haven't been through really a winning atmosphere besides Team USA (in winning a gold medal at last summer's World Championship). So I just need to step up and start being more vocal day in and day out.''

The Timberwolves sure need that.

Chris Tomasson can be reached at tomasson@fanhouse.com or on Twitter @christomasson


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