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Feelin' the Love (cont.)

Posted: Friday March 2, 2007 6:12PM; Updated: Saturday March 3, 2007 11:26AM
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SI.com: What was it like to sit down and chat with Coach Wooden?

Love: Coach Wooden is a unique person. He is definitely the smartest person I have ever met. He was reciting certain poetry, certain quotes from people like Abraham Lincoln within the context of his conversation. That's the first time I've ever experienced something like that. He's just a great guy.

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SI.com: When did you guys sit and talk?

Love: This was at the UCLA basketball offices right across from Pauley Pavilian in the summer. It was my family and Coach Howland and he said he had a surprise for us and we got to meet Coach Wooden.

SI.com: Did you get a chance meet any other legendary Bruins? Perhaps, the man you've often been compared to, Bill Walton?

Love: That same day I actually got a chance to talk to Mr. Walton. It's funny, I got to talk for about a minute and he talked for the other 29 minutes. It was good hearing from him. He said that the best choice to make was UCLA since it's such a great school and he's from San Diego and he was telling me about the beach and the great weather and compared to Oregon where it rains all the time, having a little bit of sun is nice.

SI.com: What do you think when people compare you to Walton?

Love: It's such a blessing and such a great compliment to even be mentioned in the same breath as him. What he did in high school, what he did in college, what he did in the pros was incredible. To be mentioned in the same sentence as him is crazy. I'm just hoping to follow in his footsteps and carry on the legacy of UCLA basketball but those are going to be big footsteps to follow because Mr. Walton did so much for that program and so much for the game.

SI.com: Was your decision to go to UCLA an easy one or was there another school or coach out there that made it a tough choice?

Love: The school that really came close was Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Coach Willaims is such a class guy and that campus is so great and everyone there was so gracious to me. That's what made it a hard choice. But when it came down to it, I wanted to be close to my family and Westwood and UCLA was the place I wanted to be.

SI.com: The playoffs are coming up and you're just 78 points shy of becoming Oregon's all-time leading scorer. How much would that record mean to you?

Love: I tell you what, another state championship would mean so much more. If the scoring record comes so be it, but if we win another state championship that would be ideal. If I don't break it and we win the title that'll be just fine. I'll be the happiest man alive.

SI.com: Has there been anything crazy that has happened because of your newfound fame?

Love: It's weird because I always envisioned it and always wanted it, but everywhere I go now, everyone knows who I am and kind of looks at me and says, "That's Kevin Love." It's kind of crazy, but its something I always wanted and always wished for, so I just take it in stride and try to be gracious to people and engage them in conversation and be as nice as possible.

SI.com: Finally, your uncle is Mike Love, the lead singer of the Beach Boys, do get a lot of grief about that during games?

Love: It's funny because at certain games kids in the stands will sing Good Vibrations or Californa Girls and stuff like that. Sometimes I'll sing along.

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