Dec 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) smiles prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Suns 111-107. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Flip Saunders Loves Love


While the New York Knicks crumble under the Indiana Pacers front line and the San Antonio Spurs try to act like their game four collapse never happened, there is a little good news for Minnesota Timberwolves fans. Flip Saunders is out mending fences between the Wolves and disgruntled star power forward Kevin Love — if you squint, turn your head to the side and ignore the first part about not needing to mend any fences, that is.

From Judd Zulgad:

Flip Saunders, the Wolves’ new president of basketball operations, told 1500 ESPN on Tuesday that he has talked to Love and doesn’t think there needs to be any repair between the organization and the player.

“I don’t think so,” Saunders said.

Love had a trying 2012-13 season, missing substantial time after breaking his right hand twice.

The two-time All-Star suffered a fracture of his third and fourth metacarpal in his right hand on Oct. 17 while working out, and missed the first nine games of the season. Love returned only to break the hand again on Jan. 3 at Denver. He underwent surgery on Jan. 15 in New York City.

Then in early April, the Wolves announced that Love would have an arthroscopic procedure performed on his left knee to remove a buildup of scar tissue. For the season, Love played in a career-low 18 games and averaged 18.3 points and 14 rebounds. His previous career-low for games played in a full 82-game season was 60 in 2009-10.

It didn’t help matters that Love gave an interview to Yahoo! Sports last winter in which he was critical of the Wolves front office, which included former president of basketball operations David Kahn.

Love is close to Wolves coach Rick Adelman, whom Saunders expects to return. The two met last week.

“You hear a lot in the media, and having been in the media, I take everything with a grain of salt,” said Saunders, who most recently worked at ESPN. “Having been there, too, (when it comes to what’s reported) and what’s actual. A lot of times when players are actually going through interviews sometimes they are in a situation where the context of the interview, things can be taken a little bit out of context.

“I just know in my conversations with him since I’ve been here, he’s just said that he’s on board, he’s looking forward to the journey that we’re all going to take down the road and he’s working hard to get in shape.

“I think in another week-and-a-half he’ll be pretty much unlimited in what he can do physically. I don’t see anything that’s happened in the past that’s going to really push him back and he’s going to hold anything against the organization.”

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