Minneapolis Kevin Love has the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Now the challenge is to help his Minnesota Timberwolves become next season’s most improved team.
There’s nowhere to go but up for the Wolves, whose 17-65 record was the worst in the league. That didn’t keep Love from making the All-Star team and adding to his trophy collection with the MIP award on Thursday.
“Kevin deserves an enormous amount of credit, not only for what he accomplished on the court but for the kind of dedication and the fortitude he exhibited a year ago today all the way through last summer,” said David Kahn, the team’s basketball boss.
Love was a runaway winner, getting 66 of a possible 116 first-place votes and 400 points from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers was second with 157 points.
Love averaged 20.2 points and led the league with 15.2 rebounds per game this season, posting a double-double in 53 consecutive games for the longest such streak since Elvin Hayes in 1973-74. Mostly a sixth man the season before, Love established career highs in almost every statistical category.
Kahn said he “fully” anticipates Love being with the Wolves “for a number of years to come.”
“I do think he wants to be here,” Kahn said. “I think we both feel the same way: We want to start winning, and we’re very impatient about that.”