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Former Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love is about a week away from making his regular season debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers. On Thursday, "The Players' Tribune" – recently retired Yankees star Derek Jeter's new athletes-only digital paper – released Love's story, titled, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation."
Love touched on his wild summer, which culminated with him being traded from the Timberwolves to the Cavaliers – a trade that was agreed upon before while a 30-day hold on Andrew Wiggins while his rookie contract with the Cavs settled. Wiggins was the centerpiece of what Cleveland sent to Minnesota for Love.
Love called the waiting period, "NBA purgatory."
The double-double machine wrote about his appreciation for Wolves fans and admitted making mistakes during his time in Minnesota.
"So I’d like to take a moment to thank the fans of Minnesota for six great years. I still remember sitting in Madison Square Garden when I was first drafted in 2008, thinking that if I could go anywhere it would be to the Timberwolves to work with one of my childhood idols, Kevin McHale. There are so many people in Minnesota who helped to shape my game and mold me into the player I am today. I’ll always be fond of going to Manny’s Steakhouse, and the support I got from the entire Minnesota community — even in tough times — is something I’ll remember forever. (Seriously, thanks for not burning my jersey, you guys.)
"I grew up a lot – personally and professionally – during my time with the Wolves. I’ll be the first to tell you that I didn’t always handle things perfectly. We are all unfinished products. It’s not easy to handle the disappointment of losing when you’re in your early twenties. There were times when I wasn’t easy to be around in the locker room. It’s hard to be a leader when you don’t have the model — and when you don’t have a blueprint for what winning in the NBA looks like."
Love's jersey burning joke was aimed at a humorous video about the "Minnesota Nice" way of burning Love's jersey – a far cry from the way Cavs fans burned LeBron James' jerseys when he left for Miami four years ago.
Love mentioned that he doesn't care if he's viewed as the third wheel, behind LeBron and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland. He simply wants to win a title. But we have to imagine it might bother him that NBA general managers voted him as only the fifth-best power foward in the NBA. Read about that right here.