Kevin Love’s disappointment with physical play and officiating has been apparent earlier and regularly this season.
Emotion got the best of him on Saturday night against the Houston Rockets, and now he and the Minnesota Timberwolves need to pay the price: Love, his team’s principal scorer and rebounder, was put off for two games by the NBA for “driving his foot into the chest and shoulders and face of the Rockets’ Luis Scola as Scola was lying on the floor.”
The play happened in the 3rd quarter of Saturday’s victory over the Houston Rockets after the two tangled while going for a rebound. As Love went to step over Scola, who a week earlier had thrown a ball off Love’s groin while attempting to save it from going out of bounds; he looked down at the Rockets forward and stepped on him as he headed back up the court. Baseball scores
It marked the 2nd time last week Love delivered a tough foul after not getting a call on the other end. He raked Pacers forward Danny Granger across the chest on Wed., touching off a small skirmish in a loss to Pacers.
Love apologized to Scola both after the game and in a statement issued by the team on Monday following the suspension, and said he must do a better job handling his feelings. Basketball scores
“I don’t want to be renowned for that,” Love recounted after exercise. “I wish to be known as a stand-up guy who happened to make a mistake with a size nineteen shoe and just move on. So everyone knows there were no ill wishes there.”
Love is averaging 25.0 points and 13.7 rebounds per game and guides the NBA with 39.4 minutes per game. The All-Star forward was contrite on Monday, saying he believed the suspension from NBA executive vice chairman of basketball function Stu Jackson “was warranted.”
“It’s been a chippy year,” Love recounted. “It is not just us. It’s not simply the Pacers, the Rockets or something like that. It’s lot of games. The fellows are tired. Games are being drawn out and guys are worn down.
“For me and for us, it’s no distinct, and likewise for the refs too. They’ve got to go over film just like we do, maybe even more. So you’ve got to respect them and got to accept what they do.”
Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said he has spoken with Love and the remainder of his new team about playing thru any understood mistreatment from the other team or the officials.
Adelman did question how Jackson landed on two games as correct punishment.
“Do I believe it’s fair? No. Absolutely (not),” Adelman said. “I have no idea of the reasoning. They don’t tell you the reasoning. I don’t know the reasoning why 2 games. They have not recounted something. You have just got to move on.”
The 23-year-old Love, who recently agreed a 4-year extension more valuable than $60 million, has been barking at the officials the majority of the season.
Adelman asserted he saw Love get distressed with no-calls on 2 right possessions before the run-in with Scola “and it led on to the event.”
“You’ve got to play thru,” Adelman announced. “Play with emotion, but you need to play thru it and not let it influence what happens on the court.”
Adelman didn’t say who would start in Love’s place against the Sacramento Kings, but Derrick Williams and Anthony Tolliver accept to see a lot more time. Williams, the No. 2 overall pick, has had a hard time getting settled into a role with the Wolves.
“I guess it’s just patience and hopefully I pick up (Adelman’s) believe in and have the ball in my hands more frequently,”
Williams said. “I sort of feel a bit like it’s just a lack of self-confidence, not in me, but him in me becoming in that situation. I’ve just got to earn his confidence.”