In sports, some guys have that IT factor, being the ability to dominate a game in a statistical way, and most guys don’t but it’s safe to say that the Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love definitely has IT. On Wednesday night, battling a bum knee he injured against the Dallas Mavericks Monday that threatened to sideline him for the game, the athletic big man recorded 16 points and 21 rebounds in three quarters of play to break Moses Malone’s 51-game streak that spanned the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons.
"Basically the flip of a coin," Love said of his decision 20 minutes before the opening tip to play. "I’m happy I made the right decision."
Love broke the record by halftime, making it the 27th time this season he’s had a double-double in the first two periods of play. His every effort was cheered by a crowd that came to back him and see him break the record and when he did, he received a big ovation from the crowd.
"They’re funny," Love said of the support he received from the ctowd. "They’re the same crowd that has been backing us all year, the same crowd that was chanting ‘MVP’ for me last game. Like I said, they’re a funny crowd. They’ve been great all year. I’ll be their MVP any day."
While this milestone is a huge one in today’s game, it should be noted that this stat was only loosely recorded in the older days of the sport and that up to nine players,from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor and Elvin Hayes to Malone, Jerry Lucas and Bill Russell, had double-double streaks of at least 50 games back when such record-keeping was less strict. In fact, is was reported that Wilt Chamberlain himself had 227 consecutive double-double’s back in the day.
"Whether you put it as ‘modern day’ or you put it ‘NBA/ABA merger,’ then I would say yes," Love said when asked if it was a record. "But if you’re looking in the grand scheme of things, you’ve got to look at the Big Dipper, Wilt the Stilt. He’s something special. It’s not like I have my eye set on that. I’m pretty happy where I’m at."
Whether you consider it a record or not, it is still a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated. So congratulations to you, Kevin Love, for your hard work on the court and who knows, maybe you will even catch Wilt one day.
Only 175 consecutive double-double’s to go!