The Minnesota Timberwolves are now back to .500 after a 119-92 win against the Charlotte Bobcats. But this win was not without some drama.
The tension between Kevin Love and teammates J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham came to head after Love called them out after the teams collapse against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.
Those postgame remarks spread like fire on social media and talk radio. It showed the signs of unrest that seems to forming in the Wolves locker room.
But as quickly as the firestorm came, on Friday it seemed to have come to a slow burn.
Love was subdued and short with his responses on Friday but he deflected talk of any lingering issues, repeatedly answering that the situation was under control.
“We’ve been on the same page,” Love said at shootaround prior the Wolves’ matchup with Charlotte. “Everything that happened is now internal. We’ve moved on from it. And we have a big game tonight.”
Barea on the other hand was open and straightforward in echoing a similar outlook as Love. While admitting he wasn’t pleased with the way Love handled his initial comments, Barea insisted they had already talked to each other and had resolved the issue.
“A little disappointing, you know? I wish Kevin would’ve just came up to me, face-to-face, man-to-man, and said it, but it’s no big deal,” Barea said. “We’re over it. We’re done with that. We learned from it, and if we want to win, we’ve got to play as a team and stay together as a team, so we’re done with that, and we’ve got a game tonight. We’ll just keep it going.
Even so, Barea willingly confessed he should have handled himself differently during the game. Brought to the bench at the 8:07 mark in the fourth quarter, Barea walked to his seat, visibly frustrated. He stayed rooted to his seat for the rest of the game.
“No question. I think it looks a little bit bad, that we were at the end of the bench, but it’s something that we’ve got to get better at. I think it won’t happen again,” Barea said.
“I’m a competitor. I love to play the game. That’s me. Sometimes, I’m gonna be mad. Sometimes, when I get mad, I like to go to the end of the bench and cool down for a little bit … That’s just me. If I don’t get mad, it’s not gonna be me. I’ve just got to do what got me here as a basketball player.”
Cunningham declined to meet with reporters
When asked if he was happy with the team’s current chemsity, Love said simply: “Everybody likes each other, everybody likes each other.”
It is frustrating for the Wolves and the fans because it is clear that they are having issues with consistency. Minnesota either wins big or loses just as big. We can all feel Love’s frustration, and hopefully with this win they can now comeback to big wins and looking ahead to the playoffs.
The Wolves have a chance to prove everything is copacetic in house when they play the San Antonio Spurs Sunday at 6:00 PM. You can watch on Fox Sports North or listen to on WCCO 830-AM