Offseason Weight Loss Continues to Serve Kevin Love Well as NBA Heads Towards All-Star Weekend

February 17, 2012 – 6:20 am by Eric Schmoldt

Kevin Love put in the work during the offseason to make sure that he’d been in shape if and when an NBA season rolled around. Love lost 20 to 25 pounds to come back in better shape, and it’s something that he can point to now as he makes his way through a shorter, yet busier season following the lockout.

Love missed a pair of games recently after being suspended, but is averaging more than 25 points and 14 rebounds per game. He’ll participate in another All-Star Game next weekend and the coinciding 3-point contest as well. Oh, and just to put the icing on the cake, apparently he’s going to have an octopus named after him. Top that.

Kevin Love joined ESPN 1600 in Minneapolis with Judd and Phunn to discuss having an octopus named after him, next week’s All-Star festivities, the importance of off days during this crazy schedule, how his weight loss is affecting him this deep into a season, a recent contract extension and his recent two-game suspension.

What is this about an octopus being named after you at the aquarium at the Mall of America?:

“Yeah, I guess that is the case. … The head of our PR, he mentioned they’re going to name an octopus after me at the Mall of America. It’s a little bit eccentric, a little bit different, a little bit unorthodox, but hey, I’m rolling with it. I think it’s funny. How many people can say they have an octopus named after them?”

Are you more anxious about making another All-Star appearance or the 3-point contest beforehand?:

“I would say Saturday night. I’m pretty settled in on the game. I’m just going to go out there and enjoy myself and when I get the ball, just try to make something happen. The 3-point contest, between the guys that are out there I’m shooting against, it’s going to be a tough feat to try to win that thing. So, for me, I’m just breaking out the balls early … and getting as many shots up as I can because it’s going to be tough.”

How valuable are off days at this point in the season?:

“It’s very valuable. We’re looking at time on the floor as time to learn, especially with this young team that we have, the youngest time in the league. We’re not going to look at it and say, ‘We don’t have enough practice time.’ … We have to learn on the run, learn on the fly, learn day-in and day-out. For us, we just need to keep getting with the coaches, keep learning from film work, talking over on the bench, learning and just keep improving. We feel like we’re doing that.”

You dropped 25 pounds in the offseason. Now that we’re well into the season, how much has that helped?:

“I feel great. Dropping the 20, 25 pounds was big for me, especially in such a condensed season. It’s been a lot of games coming at you very, very fast. As far as recovery goes and taking care of my body, I felt I did the work early and I’m continuing to do the work throughout the season, and because of that, going into every game, even with so many games coming at you so fast, I feel great.”

You signed a four-year extension a while back but seemed disappointed then you didn’t get five years. Do you still think about that much?:

“No, it’s in the past now. I had mentioned to you guys that I was willing to make a five-year commitment, but I’m looking at a four-year deal which can go a lot longer. I’m loving being a Timberwolf right now, where I continue to keep getting better with this team. It’s a reason I signed the contract. I just want to take every day as an opportunity to help this franchise and build the fan base.”

What was it like sitting out during a two-game suspension recently and was there anything you did during that time to observe the team or learn anything?:

“Yeah, I just wanted to sit back and really assess the team. We had finally gotten most of our guys healthy. Just looking at this team without me and sitting there watching from a couch was very tough because there were so many things I wanted to be able to do to help. Luckily we were able to be 1-1 in the games that I missed.”

Listen to Kevin Love on ESPN 1600 in Minneapolis here

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