Precious Medals: Wolves in London

Well, show’s over, kids. The thirtieth Olympiad has concluded and gone with it are the hours of  equestrian, water polo, race walking and assorted moments in broadcasting cluelessness which left us fumbling for the remote. Of course scattered amongst the monotony were the reasons we actually watch; the worlds greatest athletes, having toiled for years in relative obscurity, dazzling us with their talent, passion and character. The Olympics are shared moment, one where household names and legends are created in a matter of seconds. For Kevin Love, it was just more of the same.

Despite his recent All Star selection and rightful claim to the title of League’s best power forward, Love still finds himself clawing for respect. He struggled early, bristled under limited minutes, and even after providing the teams second highest point per minute ratio, Love received little more than a pat on the head, our loudest cheers reserved for another barrage from LeBron or Kobe. To many, our young mans rebounding was a mere formality, an effortless byproduct of his scrambling teammates. Just as in his Wolves uniform, the aesthetics of Kevin’s performance fail to complement his actual production and skepticism remains abound. It’s a shame.

Speaking of the unseen, what did our fair leader actually learn during his time abroad? Surely he’ll resurface in the coming months, equipped with several canned–and a few candid–responses to questions of how a gold medal can improve his leadership of a struggling franchise. Clumsy as his oft mentioned quote may have been, it was also true: Love was surrounded by greatness this summer, not mediocrity. He may have gleaned a few tidbits here and there, but ultimately, the exchange rate on this experience is nil. A renewed sense of determination will be more than enough, but expect those Q & A’s anyway.

Something more tangible thats sure to help is a new teammate or two. Andrei Kirelnko brightened highlights with shades of his former self in London, yet Sunday’s bronze medal matchup with Argentina belonged to Alexey Shved. The Russian’s court vision and sleight of hand are well documented, however this time  it was his fortitude that captured the spotlight. This wasn’t just a lucky shot, it was 13 fourth quarter points against a stacked Argentina team led by none other than Manu Ginobili. This was the first olympic medal for Russia since their infamous win in 1972. Not many people saw it, but it as far as things like these go, it was kind of a big deal.

So it’s nice to welcome winning back to the Twin Cities. No matter where it actually happened, we were a part of it. The thing about winning is though, there’s never enough to go around. As we also shall, our guys will hope their winning attitudes are infectious. However as we’ve learned, such infections are usually short lived.

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