If you recall the 2008 NBA Draft, for a night the Grizzlies were proud owners of the self-proclaimed best rebounder in the NBA. Yes, we once held the rights to Kevin Love. Sadly (depending on who you ask), Love was traded shortly thereafter for O.J. Mayo, never to have played a single minute for the Grizzlies. In hindsight, the trade looks mighty lopsided, but admit it, on draft night you thought we were the big winners in that deal.
It's not that I'm here to recall the good old day in which we owned the rights to Love, but I did have an opportunity to sit down and talk to the 2011 All-Star and talk to him about his "new" team and his venture into playing Beach Volleyball this summer for the Jose Cuervo Beach Volleyball Tour.
While this interview was short and generally sweet, the major takeaway for a Grizzlies site was Love's one shining moment captured on camera, as his Topps rookie card depicts him wearing a Memphis Grizzlies hat and holding a Grizzlies ball.
My Grizzly encounter with Love, after the jump!
Your Topps rookie card has you in a Memphis Grizzlies hat with a Memphis Grizzlies ball — how weird is it to see your rookie card with a team you never actually played for?
It’s definitely a unique one. O.J. Mayo has the same thing, because we got traded on draft night. He has the Timberwolves hat on, I have the Memphis hat on–we both play for our respective teams now. It is interesting to see. I have that card at home. It is kind of funny to look at. I mean, looking at my family pictures from the draft, it’s me with a Memphis Grizzlies ball that says "’01″–as their first round pick–and it has me in a Memphis Grizzlies hat with my whole family. It’s pretty funny.
What was your state of mind like when you got traded to the Timberwolves?
Yeah, I had it squared away that I was going to be in Memphis for the time being and later that night I got a call that I was in Minnesota. I almost didn’t believe it at the time.
And we almost can't believe it now! Again, it's hard to look back at this deal and trash it. If you do feel the need to look back, you'll recall that most trade analysis had the Grizzlies as the "winners" in this deal, mainly because of the mighty upside that Mayo possessed coming out of college and the wonder whether or not Love's game would translate into anything more than a 12 and 8 guy for the Wolves.