HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – While most of us count down the clock on another year and brace ourselves for brighter prospects in 2011, Minnesota Timberwolves young star Kevin Love is walking, talking and rebounding reminder that there is nothing to worry about in his world.
A budding All-Star (let the politics begin regarding Love and Blake Griffin, both worthy candidates in our view), Love has the gift of gab that many of his NBA brethren wish they had. (He’s also a rebounding menace the league hasn’t seen the likes of since Dennis Rodman was controlling the glass from coast to coast.) When searching for a successor to Shaquille O’Neal as the league’s most genuinely hilarious personality, we’d like to nominate young Mr. Love, who brings it both on and off the floor.
Truth be told, Griffin is right there with Love, both on and off the floor. He’s also a double-double machine and has an underrated sense of humor that makes him one of the athletes to watch for 2011 in all of professional sports.
Who knows what mystery awaits the league in July of 2011. There are no guarantees an agreement will be worked out and we’ll have an uninterrupted work flow between this season and the next. So there is absolutely no reason for these youngsters to wait to take their place alongside their All-Star elders.
2010 is history in a few short hours. And love them or hate ‘em, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh owned it. They stole all momentum from Kobe Bryant and the two-time NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers the minute the wild free agent summer of 2010 began. Full ownership of 2010 won’t be decided until the playoffs. But you can bet history will highlight Miami 3:16 as the biggest event of the year, be it 20 years from now or even longer.
That’s fine. As much as love our history here at the hideout, we’re all about the future. What’s next? Who’s next? Who’s now?
Kevin Love and Blake Griffin, your time is now!
So don’t be shy about taking what you can, when you can. It worked for youngsters like Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Al Horford last year, all members of their respective conference All-Star teams for the first time in Dallas last February. All three led their team to the playoffs, cementing their status as elite players.
Love and Griffin are on a similar trajectory with their games and the entire scope of what they represent to the NBA and to the sport. This cycle must be replenished every few years, new stars taking over for those that depart or are on the way out of the league and on to other things (we realize the playoff part of the equation will be much tougher in both instances, but there is plenty of time to work on that.)
The forecast for Love and Griffin and many of the NBA’s other up and coming young stars looks bright. And it’s filled with All-Star Weekends and (we hope) eventually some postseason action mixed in as well.
All you have to do fellas is keep doing what you’ve been doing. And remember, your time is now!