By Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) –
MINNEAPOLIS — Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love addressed media members and conspiracy theorists alike on Wednesday for the first time since he broke two bones in his right shooting hand two weeks ago.
Love said he broke his hand during a morning workout on his own at his Minneapolis condo before practice while doing knuckle pushups, and he’s sticking with his story.
“I know what happened, I’m not trying to get around it, I’m not trying to lie,” he said. “That’s what happened … It was pretty much a freak accident. It was a weird thing. It just happened.”
So … he didn’t punch anything or anyone?
“I’ve heard it all by now, so I just tell them, ‘Hey, sorry, I don’t have a better story for you,’” he said. “I know it’s more sexy having punched something but also I guess more idiotic, for lack of a better term. But I didn’t punch something, so, sorry …
“This isn’t TMZ, this isn’t ‘People’ magazine. I think most people are just looking for a story.”
Asked if a fan or friend has suggested a plausible story beyond punching someone or something, he said, “Uh, I could check my phone, or I could check Twitter.”
The suspicions mounted both because of his given reason — knuckle pushups, an occasional part of individual workouts that include a series of different pushups such as fingertip or Kettle Bell pushups — and because it took a day for that reason to surface.
“I was upset, I was real upset,” he said about the delay. “When I heard I broke my hand … I haven’t even called my parents. I’m still upset. When I start hearing the Timberwolves are cursed, I think the human instinct is to take all the blame onto yourself and I do think that’s what happened. I do feel like I’m a big part of this team and for me not to be out there for the first several games, it kills me.”
Love is expected to miss another four to six weeks, although he said he hopes his return is “sooner than later, as soon as possible.”
Until then, the Wolves will play without both Love and injured Ricky Rubio, their two young stars.
“I think in years past we probably would have been in trouble,” he said before ticking off the names of teammates Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea, Derrick Williams and Alexey Shved. “With all the different guys we have on this team, we’re going to be OK. I think if we just play good basketball and continue the defense we’ve been playing, we’ll win some ballgames.”
Love is wearing a removable cast on that right hand and expects to return next week to the New York City specialist he saw two weeks ago
He addressed his teammates Wednesday, his first day back with the team after spending much of the past two weeks in Los Angeles.
“You don’t ever have to apologize for an injury,” Roy said. “He didn’t want this, and it’s our job to do the best we can early in the year to stay afloat because we know we have a really good team when we have him back.”
Without Love, the Wolves will start either Dante Cunningham or Williams at power forward, although Kirilenko will move from small forward to play there some as well.
“I think he just wanted to say what happened,” Adelman said about Love’s talk with his teammates. “We’ve got to move on. You really don’t have a choice. I’m more concerned with who I have right now. You have to move on and guys have to play, and we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to be as successful as we can. It’s a big hole in our lineup. I think guys are going to come in, they’re going to do their job and we have to find a way to win.”