Kevin Love is a tad busy to be watching a lot of college basketball action, telling us in a phone interview Monday morning that he’s a “late adopter,” to his UCLA Bruins, who squeezed into the Big March Dance as a No. 11 seed but have since advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
We discussed milk, specifically the chocolate kind that’s actually a solid workout drink — something Love had been doing long before he signed on to be in a new series of ads for their built with chocolate milk campaign.
While some might feel like Love isn’t fitting in with his new Cavs mates, he’s done an excellent job ignoring the noise that surround’s this year’s Cavs team and whether or not he re-signs this summer. Even as his numbers drop across the board, and he sits out fourth quarters, he’s always going to “chase the game,” as Kevin McHale told him in his rookie season in Minnesota.
Lets hear what else he’s chasing down inside of month before he finally gets a chance to show his stuff in the playoffs.
How and when did you start drinking chocolate milk before and after practice?
My earliest memories drinking chocolate milk were when I was super young. My brother was older than me, and we’d be playing various sports inside and out, and the first thing we’d reach for was chocolate milk. That was before we knew the benefits and it was backed by science. You could say we knew what we were doing. We’d probably go through a gallon every couple days. We were outside running around so much, on the blacktop playing basketball, and that was our drink of choice.
You’re a huge student of the game and you’ve talked to Kevin Garnett about footwork, John Wooden and Bill Walton while you were at UCLA and Kevin McHale when you first came into the league. What’s the best bit of on- and off-court advice you’ve ever gotten?
They’re both one and the same because it’s so applicable. Kevin McHale taught me, or told me to ‘chase the game,’ or ‘chase what you love,’ and ‘everything you love will chase you right back.’ For me it was chase the game and the game will chase you right back. The game has been very good to me, even from an early age. He taught me that my rookie year, and it’s done pretty well for me sticking by that, so it’s a little testament that hard works pays off, but it’s more than that.
Is there anything basketball-specific you’ve heard? Obviously, you watched old tapes of Unseld, but besides the outlet pass, what do you use on the court?
Which I was gonna —
Sorry if we stole your answer.
No, that’s OK. One that’s very simple just because I don’t wanna take up too much time thinking about it, but Mike Miller and James Jones they both have their little ‘let it fly,’ wristbands on, so I try to live by that.
You wrote a Players’ Tribune piece before the season, so what sorts of things have you taken away from the Cavs so far this year?
That’s actually a funny little segue. I think chasing the game is the perfect example for the season. Quiet all the noise that’s out there because we’ve had so much going on with this team — as far as the TV games and the social media landscape and every city we go people want a piece of us — I think quieting that noise and just doing right by the team has been the mantra for this team the whole year.
You’re pretty active online, do you generally stay away from what’s written about you? Is that a motto of yours: don’t read about yourself?
At the end of the day, it’s 2015 and you have to play the game a little bit. That doesn’t necessarily mean reading the stuff, because I don’t, but I think still being active on there and knowing that you do have a lot fans out there is something that I hold close and still want to be a part of. So it does have a deeper meaning for me, but on the surface it’s not really my go-to thing.
So it’s a balancing act: interact with fans, but don’t let the other stuff get in the way of your goals…
Exactly, and I like to be in the know and have a lot of information, but really only what’s on my sideline out there.