MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Love walked to halfcourt toward a group of kids from St. Jude's Children's hospital, determined to bring a few smiles to some little faces that were in need of a boost.
Truthfully, the Minnesota Timberwolves power forward needed a pick-me-up as well. And that's just what he got when Avery Evans, a 4-year-old being treated for pediatric cancer, walked up to meet him.
"I reached my hand out for a high-five and she hugged my leg," Love said Sunday. "So I reached down and gave her a big hug."
Helping others has always brought him a little extra perspective and made him feel good, but this year he needed it a little more than usual. He has broken his shooting hand twice, limiting him to 18 games in the first season of a new four-year contract.
Love said he plans to meet with doctors for another examination on his surgically repaired hand toward the end of the first week in March or the beginning of the second week. He's hoping to return with 15-20 games remaining in the season to try and put a positive end to a most disappointing year.
Love first broke his hand in the preseason, didn't have surgery and returned about 10 days ahead of schedule. He broke it again in January and this time needed surgery to fix it. He said the injury is feeling much better this time around, but he has yet to begin basketball-related activities.