Taken as the 5th overall pick (out of UCLA, where he was a consensus first-team All-American) in the 2008 draft, this guy is quickly establishing himself as the League’s best white player, and one of the best all-round players PERIOD!
At the risk of being perceived as a racist, I would defy any die-hard NBA fan to name a current starting five of all Caucasian, American-born players. Seriously though, it can be done, but consider yourself a true NBA junkie if you can name just three. Long gone are the days of noted pioneers George Mikan, Bob Pettit, Paul Arizin, and Bob Cousy. More recent years have given us round ball legends like Havlicek, West, Barry, Maravich, Walton, Cowens, McHale, Stockton, and the “Hick from French Lick” (the incomparable Larry Bird). There were others…..but certainly not many more.
I have to admit that the last time I really enjoyed watching the NBA was during the Bird-Magic era. Today’s superstar players seem to prefer playing on the SAME team, and consequently the days of any team or individual player rivalry appears to have greatly diminished. Chamberlain-Russell, West-Frazier, Bird-Dr. J……..these rivalries, whether they be white-black or black-black, are what I believe is missing in large part from today’s game. Most baffling, where are all the white players? …….. for that matter, anybody know where can I even stumble on cable re-runs of the “White Shadow”?
Many do wonder if the NBA will ever have another white, home-grown superstar. Well, I say, make way for Minnesota Timberwolves’ 6’-10”, 250lb. 23-year old power forward, Kevin Love.
It first began in high school where he finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in Oregon boys’ basketball history with 2,628 points. As he honed his skills while at UCLA, he regularly sought the tutelage of Bruin legends Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Walton and the late John Wooten. In only his third NBA season, he IS the Great White Hope and his new 4-year, $62M contract extension proves it! Last season, Love was voted the NBA’s Most Improved Player, and this season the All-Star is averaging 24.9 PPG (4th) and 13.9 RPG (2nd)….leading the league in double-doubles. Since the ABA-NBA merger (1976), he holds the record of 53 straight double-doubles. He’s also expected to make this year’s US Olympic basketball team!
If you watch him play, you’ll notice that Love’s the perfect blend of hustling defensive rebounding and consistent all-round scoring. Maybe that’s because his father, former NBA forward Stan Love, showed him hours upon hours of Celtic-Laker playoff game videos during his formative years. If ever there is to be a white savior for today’s NBA, I think you would agree that Kevin Love was born to be it.
Tagged with: kevin love
Filed under: Pro Basketball
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