Kevin Love: “I Love My Teammates”

After a day that started with a tirade against general manager Koby Altman and culminated with in-game show of disgust that quickly went viral (video link), Kevin Love offered his side of the story last night on Instagram, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

“A lot of non truths being shared,” he wrote. “But I’ve learned that we live in a world where people remember accusations and not rebuttals. Let them paint whatever picture they want. Fact is — I love my teammates.”

Those feelings weren’t on display shortly before the end of the first half of the Cavaliers‘ loss to the Thunder Saturday night. Guarded by Chris Paul in the post, Love raised both arms and called for the ball. However, coach John Beilein had instructed Collin Sexton to dribble some time off the clock before running a play. Love stomped toward Sexton and put his hands out until he got the ball, then fired a bullet pass at Cedi Osman.

It was an obvious show of frustration that might have been directed at Sexton, Beilein, Altman or the team’s losing ways in general.

“I think you’re talking about the play with Chris Paul on me,” Love told reporters after the game. “Yeah, I felt we were making a play call and at the end of the second half we were in the bonus and I had Chris Paul on me. Felt swing it to me and try to throw it in the post, see if they double-team me and get a shot out of that, but that’s not what we did. Yeah, I was frustrated.”

After Saturday morning’s shootaround, Love directed his anger at Altman in an animated discussion that began on the court and ended in the GM’s office. Love has had heated exchanges with Altman and the coaching staff before and was fined $1K for a display of emotion during a December 31 loss at Toronto.

Beilein tried to calm tensions last night, accepting responsibility for the play that ended the first half.

“That was my mistake,” he said. “I was trying to get us to slow down and try to get, not the last shot, but close to the last shot. He had Chris Paul posted up and I didn’t see it. It was on me. I called something else.”

Beilein values Love’s passion for the game and his desire to see his young teammates learn to play the right way. Sexton can be frustrating to play with because of his tendency to seek his own shot, Fedor adds, recalling that several veteran Cavaliers spoke out about him early last season.

Love’s future in Cleveland remains uncertain. His championship experience makes him valuable as a mentor, but at age 31 he doesn’t fit in with the rebuilding process. After Saturday’s incidents, everything he does will be closely watched until at least next month’s trade deadline.

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8 thoughts on “Kevin Love: “I Love My Teammates”

  1. Jason Lancaster

    Well, at least the coach had the ability to accept some blame here, but still: this is NBA hoops. If you have to control the players to the point that they can’t pass without permission, even when there’s a mouse in the house, that’s bad.

    Love is going to make these young guards pass the ball, or he’s going to make the team trade him.

  2. DynamiteAdams

    I’m frustrated for Love. Looking at that play, it was a real easy bucket if Sexton or Beilein were paying attention. Felt like a 2k Pro-Am game where the guards never want to pass.

  3. stevep-4

    As Hawk Harrelson would say, “He gone”. Portland wants him, get the deal done.

  4. Black Ace57

    The big problem in all of this is Sexton. He refuses to pass and thinks he is so great he can do it all on his own. News Flash: you aren’t James Harden. He is turning out to be like Kyrie Irving without the same talent.

    • x%sure

      He can’t look around with the ball like Irving can but he’s trying.

  5. JD396

    I never really have respect for grown adults acting like preschoolers who didn’t get an ice cream cone, throwing tantrums at their own team, but I can understand why KLove is frustrated.

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