- Kevin Love says playing for the Blazers and with Damian Lillard would be “special”.
- Love has been rumored to be one the way out after an on-court incident against the Toronto Raptors.
- The 5-time All-Star has apologized for his actions but it appears that the frustration is mounting from both sides.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love says he would love to play for the Portland Trail Blazers one day.
Speaking to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes in the latter’s podcast, Love said that playing for the Blazers would be “special”.
Kevin Love: Playing for Trail Blazers would be special https://t.co/3RewHQAN8o
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) May 3, 2021
Love was born in South California and played for UCLA in college but he grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon and has always considered Portland as his “home”. He still has two years and $60M+ left in his current contract with the Cavaliers but after a recent on-court incident, many believe that his days in The Land are numbered.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 27, 2021
Love has since apologized for the now-infamous turnover against the Toronto Raptors where he slapped the ball on an inbounds pass which led to a turnover and a three-point basket by the Raptors. According to Love, his emotions got the better of him during that play. He also reiterated that he was frustrated with the officiating, not his teammates.
Despite the apology, it does appear that the battle lines have been drawn in Cleveland. That wasn’t the first time that Love lost his cool inside the basketball court after being disappointed with his younger Cleveland teammates. There are rumors that several Cavs players are frustrated with guard Collin Sexton’s ball-hogging style. While Love hasn’t said anything about Sexton, just watch this play from last season:
Kevin Love has absolutely had it with Collin Sexton 😳 pic.twitter.com/lib6gql0mx
— Everything Cleveland (@everythingcle_) January 5, 2020
Kevin Love’s recent outburst wasn’t the first time he was frustrated on the court. And for sure, it won’t be the last. Remember that Love left Minnesota after the team couldn’t help him get to the playoffs. He came to Cleveland and made four straight Finals appearance with one win in 2016. But since LeBron James left for Los Angeles, Love has had to play in a rebuilding franchise with younger, inexperienced, and immature players. The frustration is obvious, even if nobody wants to admit it.
Cavs Open to Move Love
Report: Cavs would ‘love to move’ Kevin Love prior to trade deadline https://t.co/beHGPH5f2V
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 4, 2021
The Cavs were open to moving Kevin Love before the last trade deadline. And it’s not the first time that they were rumored to be shopping Love. These Kevin Love trade rumors have persisted since after the Cavs won the 2016 NBA title. But Love has always stayed put and in fact, he signed a four-year $120M extension in 2018, after LeBron left. But if Love thought things would be smooth-sailing in the post-LBJ era, he was wrong.
Cleveland won a total of 38 games combined in their first two seasons without LeBron James. This season, the Cavs have won 21 with 8 games left to play but they still have the third worst record in the East and are headed to the lottery for the third straight season. For a 32-year five-time All-Star who has one NBA championship ring, going to the lottery every year isn’t an ideal destination.
In recent years, star players like Dwyane Wade ( Chicago ) and Kawhi Leonard ( Los Angeles ) have fulfilled their desire to play for their respective hometown teams after reaching the top in their previous basketball lives. Will Kevin Love get the opportunity to play for Portland as well? We’ll see. But it’s hard to see Love returning to Cleveland next season.