On Saturday the Cavs will take on the Timberwolves in Kevin Love‘s first time back at the Target Center in Minnesota since his headline-grabbing trade to Cleveland over the summer. It’s been a rocky start in the new city, Love wasn’t selected as an All-Star this year, but he tells the Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Chris Haynes he was amused by Minney’s promotional video fake out even though he thinks it’ll “probably be more [booing] than a mix of cheers” when he’s announced before Saturday’s night’s game.
“That’s hilarious,” Love said of the promo video that dramatically announced the return of…Mike Miller. “I thought it was really funny…For them to do that, it was pretty good. The T-Wolves P.R. has always been very funny unlike ours here now. I thought they did a very good job.”
The tongue-in-cheek P.R. stunt might have tickled the former T-Wolves All-Star, but it’s got to sting a little bit he was so overtly ignored. Lakers fans gave Pau Gasol a standing ovation in his return to Staples Center last night and edited a highlight mix commemorating his time with Los Angeles.
Unlike Love, Pau wasn’t so keen on all the trade rumors that swirled around him the last few years, and recently admitted it affected him more than he let on at the time. But Pau waited until he was a free agent before jumping ship.
Conversely, Love wanted to win, and the ‘Wolves were never serious threats in that department, missing the playoffs in all six years he was in town. Even after a 1-9 stretch and calls for the team to replace coach David Blatt, the Cavs are still pretty much a lock to make the postseason (barring a serious injury), and perhaps that’s why he’s taking all the good-natured ribbing about his return to Minnesota in stride.
The Mike Miller head fake in the promo video even made him laugh:
“I was waiting for it, waiting for it and it turned to Mike Miller,” Love tells Haynes with a laugh. “That was pretty good.”
So how will the fans in Minnesota greet him during introductions? We figured they might rise to cheer after their “Minnesota style nice” jersey burning stunt, but Love isn’t so sure, and says he’s expecting more of a negative response when he’s introduced.
“Truthfully? Boo,” he said when Haynes asked about the fan reaction. “It’s probably more of that than a mix of cheers.”
Love also seems pretty cool with his absence as an All-Star reserve, too, and chalked it up to Cleveland’s so-so record (24-20) at the time ballots were accepted from coaches. With Kyrie Irving and LeBron James headed to New York, it was a tough sell to include the full trio, and Love has played the third wheel so far this year.
Tomorrow the focus will be on him, though. Love knows it “will be one of those times where they’ll have a chance to tell me how they really feel.” For his sake, we hope he gets more cheers even with an expected smattering of boos from disgruntled fans who feel he left them in the lurch.
Will ‘Wolves fans boo of cheer Love’s return?
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