Kevin Love on Olympic Basketball and Portland’s Best Steakhouse
Name: Kevin Love
Sport/Event: Basketball (Team USA and Minnesota Timberwolves)
Hometown: Lake Oswego, OR
Current Residence: Minneapolis, MN/Santa Monica, CA
Years competing: Four (in the NBA)
How did you get started in your sport?
Growing up, I always had an interest in basketball since my father, Stan Love played in the NBA, too. When most kids were watching Big Bird, my Dad had me watching Larry Bird. He taught me not only what he knew, but what he learned from Wes Unseld and Earl Monroe and Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, George Gervin, and other Hall of Famers.
What are some notable highs from your career?
One that stands out is winning the 2012 NBA three-point contest. Coming into the league, I was told not to shoot three-point shots, so to be where I am now and continue to work on my game definitely speaks to my versatility. It was also a great feeling when against the Knicks I had the league’s first 30-point, 30-rebound game in 28 years.
What is the lowest point you’ve experienced? How did you bounce back?
Not making the playoffs this year was pretty difficult. I myself had a concussion that ended my season, but there were also a lot of other injuries to our team including Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic getting hurt, too. Outside of injuries though, we need to continue to improve. I plan on doing all I can to lead the team to the playoffs.
What are your goals, both short term and long term?
My short and long term goal is the same and that is to become an NBA Champion. I also want to be remembered as one of the greatest hard-working players to ever play the game of basketball. Separate from on-court goals is making an impact in the community, and I want to be known for that, too. If all I’m remembered for is being a basketball player when I’m done with my career, then I haven’t done my job.
Is this your first Olympic team? What will be your fondest memory?
I was on the world championship team in 2010, so I have had the chance to play on a world stage before. Obviously, playing with the world championship team was very big for my career. Playing under Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) on a team that was constructed by Jerry Colangelo, and just being around those calibers of players every day really helped my game for the future. I’m really looking forward to being able to bring home a gold medal for Team USA this year. I think that will become my favorite memory.
What surprises have you experienced in your career?
I am very active on social media now, so I would say one of the biggest surprises I experienced was when I inadvertently broke the news of our coach, Kevin McHale being fired on Twitter. I had no idea no one knew and did not think of myself as a breaking news guy at all. It was then that I realized just how influential social media can be and what doors it opens for you.
What brought you to Oregon?
My family moved to Oregon from California when I was about one-year-old.
What is your favorite thing about Oregon athletically?
Winning a championship in 2006 with my high school team. It was a great feeling to win and brought a lot of pride to my school.
When you’re not training or competing, what do you like to do?
I am training a lot of the time and that includes yoga, which is one of my favorite workouts. When I’m not at the gym, I do like to listen to a wide-range of music, including everything from Jay-Z to my uncle, Mike Love’s band, The Beach Boys. I’m always game for watching a documentary or reading a good book though, too, especially if it’s a Malcom Gladwell novel.
Hobbies? Favorite restaurant? Favorite hangout?
I’ve said it before, but when I’m not playing basketball, I’m pretty much always exercising including weight lifting, running, biking or yoga. I also love traveling during the off season, and prior to leaving for the Olympics, I took an amazing trip to Paris. I’m thrilled to be able to head back to Europe to play in the Olympics in London.
My favorite restaurant and hang-out spot are one in the same. During a visit to Portland, I can’t miss Ringside Steakhouse. I make sure not to miss this spot during a visit and typically head there at least once if not multiple times. I have known the staff for years so it is great to see familiar faces, and they even know what I’m going to order before I get a chance to say it.
Keep up with Kevin’s Olympic experience on his website kl42.com and on Twitter @kevinlove.