Monday, November 3, 2008

NBA Rookie Dreams Of Being Intentionally Fouled Someday

Minneapolis, MN (Nov. 3) - Minnesota Timberwolves rookie power forward Kevin Love has many challenges ahead of him. But first on his list is to, one day, be intentionally fouled.

"I've been a Shaquille O'Neal fan ever since he entered the league," Love said yesterday after practice. "I can't even imagine, sometimes, being like him -- getting fouled on purpose because of piss-poor free throw shooting. To be the center of attention like!"

Love says he works with T-Wolves coaches frequently, trying to lower his free throw percentage to a point that starts to "make some noise" around the NBA.

"To me, if I'm not going to be sought out on the floor by the other team during crunch time so that my brick free throws are a factor, then I don't want to be in the league," Love added. "It's as simple as that."

Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love, practicing to be a poor free throw shooter in high school

Love says that all the accolades and championships he may garner would be great, but would "pale in comparison" to being a player that other teams constantly send to the free throw line late in games.

"I mean, that's where it's at," Love explained. "Shaq can't play forever."

Love says his research -- and his agent -- tells him that there really is no one anointed as O'Neal's successor when it comes to intentional hacking.

"It's wide open, as far as I'm concerned," Love said. "It's all there for the taking. Whomever is able to bring their free throw percentage at or below fifty percent is going to be that 'don't go-to guy' late in games."

To that end, Love has drastically changed his mechanics at the free throw line, adopting a one-handed, unsteady, "girly" way of shooting.

"Kevin kind of took Shaq's signature, horrible mechanics and added his own twist to it," says T-Wolves assistant coach Dean Cooper. "It's a style that really shouldn't be very successful, at least not with any consistency. Kevin really should be one of the kids we watch as being the next Shaq when it comes to fouling on purpose."

Love says he's eager to finally meet O'Neal in person. What would he say to the future Hall of Famer?

"Thank you," Love said. "I'd thank him for paving the way for the younger big men, like me, who have no intention on ever being a good free throw shooter."

No comments: