While some NBA players are playing basketball in various leagues to stay in shape during the current lockout, Kevin Love took a different path. The Minnesota Timberwolves power forward has decided to try his hand at beach volleyball. The early results were not encouraging.
Love and his partner Hans Stolfus participated in the Manhattan Beach Open and were ranked as the last team in the field. On Thursday they opened the tournament by facing the No. 1 seeded duo of Sean Scott and John Hyden, and were beaten 21-16, 21-15. While that sounds like a close match, by all accounts the top seeded team was clearly taking it easy on Love and Stolfus.
To be fair, Scott and Hyden are really good. They won last week’s tournament in Hermosa Beach and are currently undefeated this summer.
Love was the tallest player in the field at 6’10, and with his partner Stolfus (6’5) formed an imposing duo. That said, Love basically stayed at the net to play the blocking position while Stolfus handled virtually all other duties. It was also the first tournament Stolfus had played in two years due to injuries.
Love practiced just 10 times before his debut, and trained with Jesse Rambis, the 25-year-old son of former Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis. Jesse played volleyball at UCLA and is now a member of the pro tour.
We give Love props for giving a good effort and trying something different. Maybe with some time he’ll actually become a decent enough player to win some matches. But as for now it appears that basketball is where his focus should remain.