Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star basketball player Kevin Love misses the ball during a volleyball match at the Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Idled by the NBA lockout, Love is giving pro beach volleyball a try.
Love is hit in the face by the ball off the hands of pro John Hyden. Love and pro partner Hans Stolfus lost to the top-seeded team of Hyden and Sean Scott in straight sets, 21-16 and 21-15.
Love lifts up teammate Hans Stolfus after a point. "We both said, 'Let's have as much fun as possible,'" Stolfus said. "If we went in too serious, we'd put too much pressure on."
Love, whose uncle is Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love, practiced just 10 times before his pro volleyball debut. "It's addicting," said Love. "It's an excuse to get on the beach and near the ocean. I definitely want to keep playing, see how good I can get. These guys, they have their 10,000 hours in, so I'm kind of struggling in that regard."
The 6-foot-10 Love, who led the NBA in rebounding last season, was an imposing figure at the net, but was clearly raw as a volleyball player. "I wouldn't tell him to quit his day job, especially because he makes about 7,000 times more than us," Hyden said.
It was a respectable debut for Love against the No. 1 team of Scott and Hyden, who are undefeated this summer. "Obviously, getting beat is never fun, but being competitive, playing against the best team in the country, a team that hasn't lost all summer, was a lot of fun," Love said.