Bullets On Stan Love
If you follow @Truth_About_It on Twitter, you’ll often see a lot of random stuff, but lately you might have also noticed a personally renwed interest in old NBA collector’s cards, some of which I’ve shared with the hash-tag #oldNBAcards. Of course, “old” is relative — most of what I’ve shared comes from the 1990s. However, this past weekend I came across some even older cards (as in, from the early 70s, just under a decade before I was born), specifically pertaining to the Baltimore Bullets. And this Friday, I’m here to share with you Stan Love… perhaps the first bro/dude in team history. Let’s bask in the glow of a Love card from 1972, then a bullet point run-down on the former Bullet, and finally, another Love card from 1973. Enjoy and Happy Friday.
- Stan Love, from Los Angeles, California, was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets with the 9th overall pick out of the University of Oregon in 1971 — Love was also drafted by the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA, but opted for the NBA.
- Love said he found out about being drafted on the radio while driving on a California interstate, said he had to pull over on the side of the road and look at a map to see where Baltimore was.
- Love’s older brother, Mike, was a founder of the band, The Beach Boys; other group members, Dennis Wilson and Brian Wilson, were cousins of the Loves.
- Love had a decorated college career playing for the Ducks (he was inducted into Oregon’s Hall of Fame in 1994), but his time in the pros was relatively disappointing.
- He played two seasons with Baltimore, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Truck Robinson in the summer of 1973, played a season and a half in L.A., at which point he was waived and later picked up by the San Antonio Spurs (then of the ABA) for 12 games before retiring from basketball in 1975.
- Over four pro seasons, Love appeared in 239 games, averaged 14.7 minutes, 6.6 points on .440 field-goal shooting, and 3.9 rebounds.
- He partied with Phil Jackson — from the 2001 book More Than A Game, co-written by Jackson and Charley Rosen, this part penned by Rosen: “I first met PJ at a postgame party in the spring of 1973 in his loft on West Nineteenth Street, brought there by a mutual friend, Stan Love, a six-foot-nine well-credentialed hippie and part-time power-less forward for the Baltimore Bullets.”
- Other terms across the Internet used to describe Stan Love include: flaky, kooky, goofy, feisty, wacky, California surfer dude, etc.
- Two stories on Love are conveyed in a 2009 piece on BaltimoreStyle.com: 1) “At a game in Milwaukee, he impersonated Tarzan by hanging on the rim after a dunk long enough for the Bucks to score on the other end. All he drew for his effort was a technical,” and 2) “Another time in Baltimore, he was knocked to the floor. [Gene] Shue sent in a replacement. Instead of rising and walking back to the bench, Love “rowed” himself across the floor like an Olympic skuller.”
- Love thought so much of teammate Wes Unseld’s ability, especially his rebounding and outlet passing prowess, that he made the middle name of his son, Kevin, “Wesley” — of course, Unseld’s first name is really spelled “Westley,” but the intent was there.
- Kevin Love, another of course, is that guy in the NBA you often hear so much about — like when he was a 2011 All-Star, the 2011 NBA’s Most Improved Player, and that 30 point/30 rebound game he had last November.
- In March 2008, after seeing Kevin Love play for U.C.L.A., Unseld had this to say: “Passing skill is something you learn. It’s not something you’re born with. Kevin’s had a good teacher in his dad. Stan was a very good player, but he was just a space cadet. Stan was completely different from me, but I loved throwing passes to him so he could score. If Stan scored you could keep him out of trouble.”
- When Love retired from the NBA in ’75, he went on to work as a bodyguard for the Beach Boys, also being tasked as an assistant to Brian Wilson, and to keep Wilson out of trouble and drug free. That didn’t always work out according to various well-known stories and lore, not necessarily by the fault of Stan, however.
- That’s life, kid.
- One Love.