Ex-NBA players Curry, Malone, Johnson, praise Kevin Love’s game

nba-all-star-2014Minnesota’s Kevin Love was selected to participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star game. This was Love’s first starting All-Star game. He played 33 minutes, scoring 5 of 11 from the field for 13 points, to go along with 9 rebounds.

Former NBA players have expressed their pleasure with how Love is playing the game. One of them was former Charlotte Hornets sharpshooter Dell Curry.

Curry said when you think of new-age power forwards, Love comes to mind immediately.

“Kevin Love is the typical guy, the stretch 4,” Curry said. “When I was in the league we didn’t have a lot of those stretch 4s. It was 4 men who got into the lane, who beat, who banged, who fought for a rebound. Now the stretch 4 has developed the 3-point shot, they’re able to stretch the defense. And not only take them but make them. Kevin, he’s a wonderful player. For him to be able to do what he’s doing on a consistent basis night in and night out is tremendous.”

Dell Curry spent his NBA career playing for Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors. Curry averaged double figures in scoring in 11 of his 16 seasons. He averaged career high 16.3 ppg for Charlotte coming off the bench in 1993-94. He played a total of 1083 NBA games (starting 99), averaging 11.7 ppg in 21.7 ppg.

One of the top power forwards of all time, Karl Malone said the state of the position is in great shape because of how the players have evolved into face-up shooters. He said when they turn and face from mid-range (and in Love’s case, beyond the arc), it puts fear in the defender’s eyes. He likes the way it affects the game. Love is part of that.

“I love the way he plays the game,” Malone said. “I love their demeanor, when somebody do something to them, they just keep playing. That’s what I like.”

Malone is the second-best leading scorer in NBA history, a 2-time MVP, 14-time NBA All-Star. He spent his first 18 seasons (1985–2003) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Utah Jazz. The Hall of Famer Malone played a total of 1476 NBA games (starting in 1471), holding career averages of 25.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 3.6 apg in 37.2 minutes of playing time.

And for Avery Johnson, who played with Tim Duncan at the tail-end of his career and coached Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, Love is a special player. That says a lot given the company Johnson’s been in at that particular position over the past 15 years.

But Johnson said Love is a special blended talent that combines eras across the board.

“Guys like Kevin Love, he’s old and new,” Johnson said. “He represents the old generation and the culture of the NBA and also the new. That’s why he’s such an unbelievable player. He deserves to be an All-Star.”

As a player, Avery Johnson won an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999. During his playing career, he appeared in 1054 NBA Games (637 started), averaging 8.4 points, 5.5 assists and 25.3 minutes per game.


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