- Last Updated: 5:53 AM, March 25, 2012
- Posted: 12:14 AM, March 25, 2012
HOOP DU JOUR
In July 2006, at the Las Vegas Bigtime Classic, Love announced he had chosen UCLA. The very first call he received was from Durant. The very first call his parents received was from Wayne and Wanda Durant. Their families were close and remain close.
Love’s road roommate and best friend at UCLA was Westbrook. From day one, they clicked. Love lived off campus in a two-bedroom apartment, and Westbrook would often crash. They clicked on the court, too.
While UCLA coach Ben Howland implored Love not to throw his lethal outlet, Westbrook encouraged it. With a simple nod or wink, Westbrook would release and 75 feet later would sky for a spectacular dunk.
“Many feel Love is the reason for Westbrook’s development,” Feinberg submitted. “It shocked some when [Westbrook] declared for the ’08 draft, but not Love. He knew Westbrook was ready, and that Howland had burnt him out.
“Keep in mind, at the time, Westbrook was dominating the famous summer UCLA runs frequented by much of the best comp[etition] the NBA had to offer.”
So, every summer since, it’s no surprise to walk into a high school gym in Santa Monica, Calif., and find Love, Westbrook and Derrick Rose working out. That’s five days a week of working out, and working hard. Their trainer is Rob McClanaghan. And yes, they are often joined by Durant, with cameos by Joakim Noah — the upper crustaceans of the NBA’s insanely fertile young crop.
When Feinberg covered the 2006 Jordan Classic high school all-star game at Madison Square Garden, he took a picture of Durant getting interviewed, shirtless, in the locker room.
Feinberg sent it to Love with the caption: “Someone please buy this guy a meal.”
Love wrote back, “Soon this guy will be the scariest offensive player on the planet. Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
That’s just what the “experts” did with Kevin Love, Feinberg harrumphed.
* I’m as big a Derek Fisher fan as most, but his trade hardly had me reaching for my snub-nosed poison-pen to rip the Lakers for trading their five-time champion or reach for my violin like an aggregate of outraged Los Angeles authors.
Would somebody please inform them loyalty in professional sports is a no-way street.
Maybe I’m mistaken, but I could have sworn at least one or two of those same writers previously were all over owner Jim Buss and president Mitch Kupchak for not making personnel improvements.
Plainly, the Lakers moved Fisher because the addition of Ramon Sessions greatly upgraded their backcourt. And, if recollection serves me correctly, Fisher left the Lakers flat as a 2004 free agent to join the Warriors because it greatly benefited him financially.
Moreover, it’s not as if Fisher got stiffed as a result of his transfer from Houston to Oklahoma City.
When Eric Maynor went down for the season, the NBA’s elite teams silently celebrated the Thunder’s loss of outside shooting and backcourt brains. Fisher gives them toughness and experience they lacked. Also, as we all know, very few are more competent at making double-downing teams pay dearly than Fisher.
I don’t care what Mike Breen thinks; it’s a little early to organize a “Fire Mike Woodson” rally.Follow @NYPostsports