After a series of incidents in which he displayed his frustrations with the Cavaliers on and off the court, Kevin Love expressed remorse when he talked to reporters on Tuesday, as Tom Withers of The Associated Press writes.
“I wasn’t acting like a 31-year-old, I was acting like a 13-year-old,” Love said of his recent behavior. “That was not me.”
The Cavaliers fined Love $1K for an incident during the team’s New Year’s Eve game vs. Toronto, when Love reportedly said the club was playing selfishly and was seen smacking chairs on the sidelines in anger. The standout power forward later had an alleged altercation with general manager Koby Altman, then expressed frustration on the court during Saturday’s game vs. the Thunder when he didn’t get the ball while he had Chris Paul guarding him.
Love is on the trade block in Cleveland and prefers to be dealt, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. However, due to his expensive, long-term contract, Love’s value is already limited to some extent, and one league executive who spoke to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com noted that the big man wasn’t helping his case with his recent outbursts. While Love’s mea culpa on Tuesday could help alleviate concerns about his behavior, it remains to be seen whether Cleveland will find a deal before the February 6 deadline.
We’ll have to wait to see what’s next for Love and the Cavs, but the 31-year-old spoke to Fedor candidly about the incidents that have made the news over the last week or two. Fedor’s piece is worth checking out in full, but here are some of the highlights from Love:
On The Athletic’s report detailing Love’s “emotional verbal outburst” toward Altman:
“There was no altercation, there was no screaming match. I was actually shocked when guys were telling me about the article and what had come out. I’d heard about everything about 10 minutes before the game. I didn’t know who it came from, it didn’t come from me. Like I said, there wasn’t anything that happened at shootaround that warranted something like that.
“It was a conversation we had, but there was no blowup, there was no me talking about how much money I have. I’m an a–hole. But I’m not that big of an a–hole. … That was like a two out of 10. It was really nothing.”
On his on-court show of frustration during Saturday’s game against the Thunder:
“I knew it immediately. Looking back and seeing it, I was a s—head. It looks really bad. Everybody thought it was directed at Collin (Sexton). It was directed at Coach (John Beilein). Coach was saying, ‘Swing four, swing four’ and I’m like, ‘We’re in the bonus, it’s the last shot and Chris Paul is going to foul me or I’m going to get to the free throw line or I’m going to score.’ So I ran out there, launched the ball to Cedi (Osman) and I was really, really frustrated.”
On the idea that he hates playing with Sexton:
“No. I don’t hate Collin. You know Collin and I’s relationship. That’s so dumb. Are there times where he has poor decision-making and bad shots? Of course! By the way, it’s the same thing with me and same thing with Tristan (Thompson) not kicking the f—ing ball out when he’s in the post and there’s five guys on him. You just have to keep correcting it.
Collin’s 21 years old. So many guys are losing sight of that. DG (Darius Garland), he’s 19. KP (Kevin Porter Jr.) is 19. These guys are learning. This is where I can’t relate because I didn’t have the ball in my hands at that age. I was more like, get it off the glass and hit transition threes, get to the free throw line, rebound, but he has the ball in his hands and has to make decisions.”
On his outlook going forward:
“(The behavior is) not going to happen moving forward. There will be some frustration, there will be some human moments where it’s out there on the floor. I’ve told you guys all along I read like a damn cheap novel and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I need to be better.
“Obviously, this has been extremely tough, especially with what our record indicates. I’m not perfect. Still working on myself on and off the court and this is about that. It’s about me getting better and helping these guys because I promised I would. I would like to (help them) — at least, from here on out. I don’t care if I’m here for five more months or five more weeks I’m going to try to do my best by these guys and by the coaching staff. That’s on me.”