Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/4/11
A svelte Kevin Love was at the Minnesota Timberwolves practice facility on Sunday, looking spry and excited for what at the very least promises to be an interesting season for the Wolves.Most of his teammates have yet to arrive in Minneapolis, but Love is anxious to hit the hardwood with his new teammates and coaches as the Wolves try to rinse out the taste of a 15-win campaign and turn over a new organizational leaf.It starts with Love, who's shed about 25 pounds from last season as he prepares for a 66-game sprint following the extended NBA lockout."My stamina, hopefully running the court will be better," Love said. "But more than anything the turnaround time, just staying fresh, will be easier for me day in and day out. Hopefully in a condensed season like we have it will only play dividends moving forward."Love said he's roughly 40 pounds below his playing weight his rookie season, slimming down to a 9th- or 10th-grade version of himself. He didn't have an ultimate goal of losing weight, it simply was a product of focusing on eating better and training harder than he ever has.Love cited great NBA players adding another dimension or two to their games every offseason, and said maturing off the court and getting in peak physical condition were both to that end.With the lockout all but officially over, Love also gets to talk contract as he enters his final season before becoming a restricted free agent. He did a little tap-dancing on Sunday when asked about his pending status, but it didn't seem like it was because Love doesn't want to stay with Minnesota long-term. Instead, it sounded like he's not sure what will happen and doesn't want to set himself or Wolves fans up for disappointment."I love Minneapolis I love being out here in the Twin Cities," Love said. "It's the first NBA city I fell in love with. This is all I know. Maybe we'll keep it that way, maybe we won't."Love touched on a variety of other subjects with reporters as well. Here are the highlights:On Ricky Rubio"I have been talking with Ricky and the guys who are out there on the west coast, L.A., and I think more than anything we're very excited and definitely want to get off to a good start and get in here as quickly as possible so we can start working together and growing together.""He looks good. Once he gets back here and starts building that confidence up I think more than anything, with all of us, we have to get that time in and work together."(Haven't played with him) much. He was playing over at Loyola Marymount, was getting up and down. Everyone said he was looking really good, so we're excited for it."On Rick Adelman and learning his system"We were fortunate to get Ricky over here and fortunate to get Derrick Williams, but we have a young, youthful team. There's an electricity with this unit. We're definitely going to be able to coexist on the floor and grow together. We're looking forward to building this team from now on and I think Rick was also a big step in doing that.""I think a guy who will be able to help me with that a lot is (new Timberwolf) Brad Miller. Definitely looking forward to learning from him and working with him and just seeing if I can facilitate the offense, kind of play that corner offense and be able to get the ball in the high post, score in the low post, play a lot of pick-and-roll. So I definitely don't feel I'll be limited at all in my offensive skill set and I don't think a lot of guys will.""I think Rick will be able to exploit mismatches like he always does, like with the Sacramento Kings we can have the kind of assists they had with that team together. Or with a team that didn't have Yao (Ming) and took them to seven games against the Los Angeles Lakers, who were eventually the champions (in 2009). So he's a very good coach and I'm looking forward to working for him."About a shortened preseason and condensed 66-game regular season"It's going to be tough. We're definitely going to have to spend some time off the floor together, get to know each other a little bit. We're going to make mistakes early on in training camp. Not to put pressure on me, but it starts with me, it starts with our point guards, the guys who have the ball on our team have to be the floor leaders, floor generals. Hopefully Luke (Ridnour) can take the reigns and Ricky can too, and start leading us from the point guard position.""Hopefully teams that are playing four games in five nights, eight games in 12 days, back-to-back-to-back games, hopefully we'll catch some of those veteran teams not only on an off night but when they're fatigued and be able to take advantage of it. A lot of ways it can be an advantage and a lot of ways it can be a disadvantage. We're a team that needs experience and needs a lot of time out there on the floor."Love hopes to be joined by his teammates soon Williams tweeted last week he'd be in town for good on Tuesday so they can work together as quickly as possible. The youngest team in the NBA last season got younger and hired a new coach, so there's plenty of work to do.Fortunately for the Wolves, Love has already been doing plenty. He's got 25 less pounds to prove it.
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