Kevin Love calls out teammates after loss
The Minnesota Timberwolves won their first three games of the season, and they have not been able to string together more than two-straight wins since. On Wednesday, the T-Wolves lost a tough game at home to the Phoenix Suns. They blew a lead with just a few minutes remaining, which is something Minnesota has done more than once this season.
Following the 104-103 loss, Kevin Love called out two of his teammates.
“We can’t have two guys sitting at the end of the bench, who play good minutes, just sitting there and not getting up at timeouts,” Love told reporters, via ESPN 1500 Twin Cities. “We all need to be in this together. That kind of pisses me off. We’re supposed to be a team.”
Love made it very clear that he was talking about two specific players, though he did not mention them by name. There was speculation that he was referring to JJ Barea, who expressed frustration when he was sent to the bench with roughly eight minutes remaining in the game, and Dante Cunningham, who played a season-low 11 minutes.
“It’s to a point that where those two guys, if and when I did that last year when maybe I didn’t sit out for the game for 48 minutes and so on and so forth, they would have killed me,” Love said. “They would have aired me out. It’s two guys we expect more from them, and I think they expect more from themselves.
“I’m not trying to single anybody out, and I don’t want to make it bigger than it is. That was a team we needed to beat tonight. Even guys that didn’t play any minutes, we need to have a team on the bench that’s really in it together.”
This is not the first time Love has taken his frustrations with the team public. However, teammate Ricky Rubio seemed to agree.
“Somebody is maybe frustrated because he didn’t have the minutes he wanted or he wasn’t in the game in the late situation,” Rubio said. “If something happened, no matter if it’s Coach’s decision or whatever, you have to be with the team. I didn’t see that, but if (Love) says that he saw something. We would have to talk, because that’s even worse than losing the game.”
The T-Wolves are 17-18 and have plenty of time to turn things around. The problem is this is a team that has not made the playoffs since 2004, so losing is something the players have grown accustomed to. That can sometimes lead to sulking.