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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Yes, Kevin Love is Ready to Go

I've been saying this around for some time now, so I decided to consolidate with a post.

Kevin Love is ready for the NBA. Now all of you know.

Wait ... You're asking why? Well he should marinate another year in college, he won't be a good pro, he's not athletic, he's white, blah blah blah, etc. I've heard these lines of reasoning plenty of times each.

Here's the deal: The kid is good. Pac-10 Player of the Year award-good. First team All America-good. This past season, he had spectacular averages: 17.5 points per game, 10.6 rebounds per game, 1.44 blocks per game and even hit about one three per game. How many freshmen average a double-double that aren't named Michael Beasley or Kevin Durant? And unlike those guys, he was the best player on a team that made it to a Final Four. Plus, although his outlet passing is already much-ballyhoed, you can't discount that it's a marketable skill that no one else has. Plus, who else can make full-court shots like it's their job?

Right now, ESPN has him as a lottery pick, and I believe this is a fair evaluation based on Love's success in college and his array of post moves and ways to score. The draft profile right now basically says the same stuff that most people are saying (good, but can't jump, not big enough, etc.).

Look, just say Kevin Love isn't going to be a good pro. So what? What more reason does he have to stay in college? Win a championship? I can't blame the guy for turning down a "college education" for lottery-pick money. These days, you have to protect your body like its an investment - you can't afford to get injured.

In addition, Love had an incredible season. Incredible seasons are followed by raised expectations. Why should Love subject himself to increased scrutiny by people trying to poke holes in his game? What if he already has hit his ceiling and doesn't improve? Let's not forget just how special a guy like Tyler Hansbrough is, who vastly improved statistically by staying another year (He should go, too - you don't do better than Player of the Year).

What if he hits a sophomore slump? Does he go the way of Josh McRoberts and drop stock like it's goin' out of style? It's not good business. If you have a good season, go and get paid! How can anyone hate on that?

Kevin Love is one of those guys that will work hard on his game and always try hard to make it in the league. In terms of attitude and maturity, you can't ask for much more of a young man, especially when there are so many Pacmans running around. The adjustment will definitely be hard, but another season in college probably has more risk than reward.

So smile, Mr. Love, when you get that paycheck. Smile when you sign that shoe deal. Don't hide it - it feels good. Even if you don't turn out in the NBA, either way, you're gonna get to spend that money.

It didn't take four years of college to make that no-brainer.

Photo Credit: AP


Drew H. said...

I agree, Kevin Love is right to enter the draft. None of the knocks against him will be disproved by staying an extra year.

Anonymous said...

i completley agree... kevin is easily the best center in the nation and has nothing left to prove... simular to greg oden last year... minus the whole looking 50 and getting hurt thing...

Truth About It said...

I think he'll be a decent pro.

But the lesson will come fast, he won't be able to body cats in the NBA like he did to fools in college.

Walton's Wisdom said...

This post is on point. I totally agree with Drew H. when he says that none of the knocks on Love would be disproved by another year of college ball. In fact, I think they would be magnified by another year of March Madness and the media's skepticism.

See my take at: http://waltonswisdom.blogspot.com/2008/03/kevin-love-as-nba-prospect.html