Coach not buying Love’s beef
MINNEAPOLIS (TSX) — Minnesota Timberwolves president and head coach Flip Saunders told Minneapolis-St. Paul radio station KFAN on Saturday that All-Star forward Kevin Love does not have a right to be frustrated.
Love, who has never been in the playoffs during his six years in the NBA — all with the Timberwolves — is reportedly not interested in a contract extension and plans to become a free agent at the end of next season.
The assumption is that Love wants out of Minnesota and to play for a winning team.
Saunders said former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett expressed frustration because the team was not winning enough. He was later traded to the Boston Celtics and won an NBA title in 2008.
“Just like I told Garnett, he didn’t have a right to be frustrated,” Saunders said. “Why does any player have a right to be frustrated? You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.
“Should the team be frustrated? Yeah, the team can be frustrated. But I don’t think any one individual should be frustrated.”
Saunders explained a specific incident in which a young Garnett pointed fingers at teammates for not doing enough. It proved to be a learning experience for Garnett.
“I tell a story about — we were in the locker room when KG was in like his third year in the league, and (veteran) Sam Mitchell was sitting in the locker room,” Saunders said. “KG was in there, and we had lost a couple games, and we were all sitting there talking.
“KG started going, ‘Hey, you’ve got to start doing more.’ And he’s talking to some of the bench guys. ‘You’ve got to start doing more.’ And Sam said, ‘Hey, hold it, hold it. Let me tell you something. You’re making all the money. Hey, it’s your responsibility. You make the money, you’ve got to live up to that.’ So, that was the mentality, and from that time, KG never ever from that point, he always took responsibility.”
Saunders has said the team has no plans to trade Love.