For an owner so open in expressing his long-held mixed feelings about his one-time star player, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is playing the part of a scorned ex exceedingly well.
Now that Kevin Love has officially coupled with LeBron James in Cleveland, Taylor is proving more than willing to share with the world all the misgivings and skepticisms he yet holds about the All-Star forward he just as clearly always seemed to take for granted.
No doubt, Love’s mind about leaving Minnesota seemed to be made up long ago, actually coming about somewhere around the middle of the six consecutive sub-.500 seasons the two begrudgingly sledged through side by side. But it’s just as much a given that Taylor didn’t ingratiate himself to the three-time All Star by lowballing him with just a three-year extension offer in 2012 as opposed to the max deal he so wholeheartedly sought.
While Taylor admits he has regrets about it all and if he could change certain things about his bungled approach he wouldn’t hesitate to do so, that doesn’t seem enough to erase all his lingering bitterness.
“I think where maybe he got away with some stuff not playing defense on our team, I’m not sure that’s how it’s going to work in Cleveland,” Taylor told ESPN. “I would guess they’re going to ask him to play more defense, and he’s foul-prone. I question Kevin if this is going to be the best deal for him, because I think he’s going to be the third player on the team. I don’t think he’s going to get a lot of credit if they do really well. I think he’ll get blame if they don’t do well. He’s going to have to learn to handle that.”
In dealing with all Taylor’s assaultive outbursts, Love perhaps is already prepping himself for the all the pressure-filled moments his former boss now predicts he’s destined for.
“I think emotions are definitely running high right now,” Love told ESPN. “For Glen to say that, I just think that he should be focusing on the players that he just received … I think he got a lot for me. So I’d be focusing even more on that. More than anything, I’m just excited to start my time in Cleveland, get to work with my new teammates, and start with this new family here.”
Kevin Love can only hope family with LeBron James in Cleveland comes to hold stronger ties than the fragile bonds he now so clearly shared with Glen Taylor and the Wolves.