Headline news in the NBA: “Kevin Love Turns Down Turkey On Thanksgiving Week.”
When he recently declined an offer to join Besiktas Milangaz (and Deron Williams) it brought a sly grin to my face…followed by a firm head nod.
Props, big fella.
“I didn’t feel it was the right decision for me at this time,” Love told ESPN. Let me translate: Besiktas is where NBA-ers go to get paid and have fun, not to play at the highest level. If I’m going overseas, it’ll be to play against real competition. Kevin Love isn’t concerned with fame and bling, he’s all about playing hard and improving as a player. Sure the Minnesota Timberwolves record doesn’t show it, but all Love wants to do is win games…or at least give his all to get there. The Lockout is a time to continue improving as a player, not to vacation and ‘get a good run in’. Besiktas is not the place for him…maybe a different guy.
I don’t like the way D-Will’s movin’ these days (no, he’s not hurting…this is a Hip-Hop expression). I don’t like his decision-making this offseason. Deron had his choice of teams to play for overseas, all of which had plenty of money to throw at him. Why choose a Turkish team like Beiktas? I mean I know that all NBA guards wanted to follow in Allen Iverson‘s footsteps growing up, but this is funny. You may remember that AI had a brief stint for this club last season, before bowing out ungracefully due to a calf injury. Back to Deron Williams, I considered him to be the best point guard in the NBA prior to the explosion of Derrick Rose last season…but his decision to join a team like Besiktas Milangaz as opposed to a Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, or Panathinaikos speaks volumes. Forget all of Europe, Besiktas isn’t even the best team in Turkey alone. Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce play at a much higher level. Deron would obviously rather play against weaker competition and put up huge numbers (as evidenced recently by his 50-point game) than actually have to compete at the highest level possible sans NBA. Respect is huge these days, especially with the Lockout killing fans off…D-Will hasn’t earned any points this offseason.
Besiktas Milangaz hasn’t earned any respect either for that matter (not that it matters, this is an NBA site). After Love turned them down they quickly went after Carlos Boozer, then Marcin Gortat,…ultimately nabbing Lamar Odom. This move is more about Lamar & Kloe than it is about baskets and balls. How about the rumor that Brook Lopez is considering joining the team, with brother Robin Lopez as vacation player…I mean, “practice” player. It’s a joke. All you need to know about this franchise is that last season, while players were complaining about not getting paid, Allen Iverson’s checks from a $4M contract/2-yr deal were always on time. Who’s handling their finances, MC Hammer? Truth is Besiktas Milangaz is really a soccer franchise whose wealthy owner has decided to through money at the basketball program recently as almost a novelty. It’s all a big show and not about building a real basketball program.
This team is bad for basketball and bad for fans (outside of Turkey, of course). While they continue to try and build a ‘Dream Team’, they’re just looking more like a Cream Team. It’s all about the cheddar in Istanbul, or should I say the feta…..and when it comes to pure basketball, I’m lactose intolerant.