Kevin Love spent the weekend in Boston, which in turn spent the weekend showing it's love for Kevin.
Love has captured the hearts of Celtics fans, many of whom would be thrilled to see the team make whatever deal is possible to bring him here next season. While Love was being wooed by David Ortiz and others at Fenway Park on Sunday, the Timberwolves' current team president told reporters he "expects" Love to remain in Minnesota next season.
NEW PHOTO: Kevin Love & Rajon Rondo hugging it out outside the Fenway EMC Club Sunday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/XAChHwjmHL— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) June 2, 2014
Great expectations often bring great disappointments, Flip Saunders.
Just ask then-Minnesota Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale, who should have received a ring from the Celtics for the role he played in building the Big Three one-ring dynasty by handing over Kevin Garnett to Danny Ainge for Al Jefferson and a whole lot of mediocrity in the summer of 2007.
The Celtics will have at least 99 problems if Love, all of 25, doesn't want to play in Boston, if/when he's allowed to make that decision. Love is signed through next season and the Timberwolves certainly don't have to trade him. They have the final say where he would end up playing, at least for one more season. The Celtics, with the sixth and 17th picks in the draft, are not in the best position compared to other potential suitors. The issue here is where does Love want to play in the long term.
OK, now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at 10 reasons why Kevin Love would love playing in Boston.
1. Follow The Leaders: Love would join an impressive list of notable athletes who made the direct move from Minnesota to Boston.
The first and most supreme name is Ted Williams. "The Greatest Hitter There Ever Was" played for the Minneapolis Millers in 1938 before making the leap to the majors a year later. While Williams' career in Boston was rocky at times, especially when it came to dealing with the press and the fans, he achieved baseball greatness in Boston that has been unmatched in the last 70 years. .
Love may not be able to hit .406 or capture two Triple Crowns for the Red Sox, but there's potential for a whole lot of points with the Celtics if he's the No. 1 go-to option on offense and Rajon Rondo is feeding him the ball.
Williams never had Twitter at his disposal. Love and Ortiz can DM if the 6-foot-10 forward has any personal questions about the city, once Ortiz decides to follow Love on Twitter. He was not as of Monday morning. Ortiz has enjoyed three Duck Boat parades since coming to the Red Sox, gave Boston a rallying cry for the ages following the Boston Marathon bombings and has emerged with Tom Brady as biggest Supernovas in Boston sports since Bobby Orr.
Boston now is their "f-ing" city.
The Celtics swiped McHale in the 1980 draft out of the University of Minnesota following the greatest trade in Boston history this side of Bill Russell. Red Auerbach dealt the No. 1 overall pick in that draft and Boston's first-round pick the next season for Robert Parish and the No. 3 pick, which was used for McHale.
It's as if the best basketball players coming from Minnesota to Boston are guaranteed at least one title. Garnett got his in 2008.
Randy Moss played two years for the Raiders between his time in Minnesota and New England. He did OK here, catching 23 TDs from Brady in 2007 as the Patriots went 18.99-1 before losing the Super Bowl. Moss' final catch of Super Bowl XLII gave the Patriots' a 14-10 advantage with 2:42 to play. The Giants regained lead with 39 seconds left.
Destiny is calling, Kevin. And she doesn't like to take "no" for an answer.
2. Buy low, sell high: Love would be joining the Celtics at a time when the team is rebuilding and coming off Tankapalooza 1. A 40-win season out of the gate in Boston would almost be Duck Boat-worthy. Love would have at least a year or two before expectations surrounding the Celtics would reach the "championship or complete-failure" level shared by the Bruins and Patriots these days. By then, the Celtics might be ready to do just that.
3. Legends and Legacy: No matter what other NBA teams are in pursuit of Love, none will have the championship pedigree to match the Celtics. The franchise is all about winning, even when titles come 22 years apart. While Love cannot eclipse the impact of Russell, or surpass the Legend of Larry, he will have the opportunity to carve his own niche in Celtics history. Ending up alongside the likes of Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Paul Silas, Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen is a pretty sweet neighborhood in which to reside.
4. Good Eats: Boston is home to the nation's oldest continually operating restaurant, the Union Oyster House. Boston's fare goes far beyond clam chowder, beans and fried clams, although those items all good at the right times.
The dining options in and around Greater Boston are, for all practical purposes, infinite. Here's a recent list of some of the best for starters. Minnesota is home to Hormel, makers of Spam and other fine meat-based products. All those smoked meats, cold cuts and bacon can get boring.
You know what beats the hell out of Spam, Spam and more Spam? A nice, sweet and yummy Fluffernutter. And you can't make one of those without the original Marshmallow Fluff, created and still made in Lynn, Mass.
How can you pick against Fluff?
And if Love loves pizza, and who doesn't, Boston ranks among the best. The pizza scene is so strong in Boston that even the regional chains like Papa Gino's and Pizzeria Regina offer quality fare.
That's crazy "use yah blinkah"😂 pic.twitter.com/tpwNV86owI— Trevone Rose (@Trizzytre24) May 9, 2014
5. He Can Learn A New Language Without Even Trying: Given his Pacific Coast/Minnesota lineage, a move to Boston would offer Love the chance to learn an entirely new-for-him dialect. Beyond the missing "r's" there are words and phrases he'll quickly be able to add to his lexicon.
The look on his face when he's asked if he wants a tonic with his grinder would be priceless. Or when he's told to use his blinkah on the Pike.
Wicked pissah stuff.
6. It's Boston's Turn: Love is student of the NBA. He grew up watching tapes of the classic Celtics-Lakers games thanks to his father, Stan. The Lakers, of course, began in Minneapolis. The franchise won its first five NBA titles there. Check. By the way, the Lakers are the only NBA or Division I-A college basketball team to ever win a championship in Minnesota. The Timberwolves, not so much. Love has already spent time playing in Los Angeles while at UCLA. Check. Boston is the logical next step here.
It was reported Sunday that Love may check with fellow UCLA grad Bill Walton about his playing days in Boston during the 1980's.
That's another good sign for Celtics fans who want Love here.
7. Feel The Beat: Love's uncle, Mike, is founding member of the Beach Boys and he's a cousin of fellow Beach Boys' mastermind Brian Wilson. Boston's music scene is nearly as infinite as its restaurant offerings. While Minnesota give us a Prince, the Bay State has produced kings of rock, pop, classical and American Folk music.
The "House of Blues" that you see everywhere these days [12 locations and growing] was founded in Harvard Square 22 years ago.
The music is not confined to sellouts at T.D. Garden or the latest show at the Paradise. Aerosmith played an afternoon concert in front of 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in 2012. The Boston Pops celebrate every July 4 with a performance for a few hundred-thousand of its fans on the Esplanade Stage. James Taylor often turns up at important sporting and civic events to sing the "National Anthem" or other tuns of note.
The Berklee College of Music might even let him audit a class or two, or ask Uncle Mike to stop by as a guest lecturer if he comes to town to catch Love and the Celtics.
Unfortunately, Love just missed "Boston Calling" by a week.
8. Location, Location, Location: There are several tony Boston neighborhoods within either long-walking or short-biking/cab/limo distance to T.D. Garden. Love could settle on Beacon Hill, the near Back Bay or the North End. He might want to check with with some of the Bruins on Twitter, many of whom live in that area. Brad Marchand bought a swanky waterfront penthouse on Lincoln Wharf last year for $1.46 million and Milan Lucic is a frequent visitor to Limoncello's, IMHO the best restaurant in the North End.
The Celtics practice in Waltham. Living there isn't nearly as much fun as crashing a few doors down from Marchand's penthouse.
9. We're Not All Massholes: People from Greater Boston love to perpetuate the partially-true myth that we are all cynical, smart-ass, loud, boisterous, combatant, profane, know-it-all types. I've lived and worked in three time zones. You can leave Boston, but Boston leaves you. That truism has followed me for the past 32 years since I first left for college.
I work in Boston while I reside in Florida. My work brought me to Central Florida 14 years ago. I remain solely for family and personal reasons. Unfortunately, basketball games cannot be played remotely, so Love would actually have to move to Boston during the season. The Hub pretty much owns my mind, heart and soul these days, at least until my current contract expires. Then it will just own my heart and soul.
One thing I've learned living and working in five states that the people in and around Greater Boston are much the same in terms of character, if not temperament while driving, as they are everywhere else in the United States.
When it comes to sports fandom, New Englanders excel when it comes to the maxim of "trust but verify." Boston fans, for the most part, genuinely want winners always but will come back next season as long as they feel the players play all-out, all the time.
See the 2013 Bruins for the latest, greatest example. That season was generally considered "a success," even though Boston had its nuts collectively crushed in just 17 seconds with less than 80 seconds to go in Game 6 against Chicago.
Apathy is always worse than incompetence, see Adrian Gonzalez, circa 2011.
Still beloved, even with only two home runs since last August.
Manny Ramirez may be the largest exception to that rule, but even Manny didn't "quit" on the '08 Red Sox until he played a huge role in helping them win titles in '04 and '07.
There's nothing in Love's past. on or off the court, to indicate that his intensity doesn't match his skill. If he plays as well as advertised, Boston will be his city, much like it was this past weekend.
New look to Head of the Charles. BoSox duck boat victory parade. Think there were any crashes? pic.twitter.com/smCAoeUZXA— usrowing (@usrowing) November 4, 2013
10. City Of Champions And All That: Where else can you do that after a championship?
Once upon a time, Boston was a segmented, segregated city where outsiders were confined to college campuses, bus stations and airports. Those days have gone the way of "Whitey Bulger Mob Boss." Boston and its surrounding environs have exploded in recent decades with a younger, more-diverse and forward-thinking population. At the same time, much of what made the area so special and unique in America has remained in tact. Full-time cynics, contrarians and haters always offer words of condemnation and ridicule. If Boston is such a distasteful place, why is it so damn expensive to buy a decent house or condo anywhere within 25 miles of downtown.
This weekend, from what's been presented in broadcast, digital and social media, Love mingled with a healthy cross-section of Bostonians, from Rondo to the servers at the Cask 'n Flagon. He also caught the Red Sox game with his agent.
This new-and-mostly-improved version of Boston has coincided with more than a dozen years of unequivocal success and championships on the pro sports scene. There's usually at least one team in Boston contending for a title or carrying the burden of a championship expectation.
This provides cover for whatever team happens to be struggling at the time. The Celtics were slumming near the bottom the Atlantic Division while the Patriots and Red Sox were winning championships 10 years ago. Boston's 17th NBA title came while the region still reeling from the sports-trauma of Super Bowl XLII and seven weeks after the Bruins were iced in the first round of the playoffs that year by Montreal in Game 7. The Bruins raised their sixth Stanley Cup banner exactly eight days after the Red Sox completed the worst September playoff collapse in baseball history. The worst-to-first 2013 Boston Strong Red Sox won the first championship at Fenway Park in 95 years on the same night at the Celtics embarked on Tankapalooza 1 in Toronto.
There's always balance in these parts, win or lose.
Just another reason to Love it.
The OBF Column is written by award-winning journalist, Bay State native and Boston.Com columnist Bill Speros. Got a news tip, want to let him know directly what you think, have a complaint or compliment about his "aggressively relevant" content or hate people who speak about themselves in the third person, hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or hit him on at his
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