The incident occurred toward the end of the third quarter after Raptors big man Freddie Gillespie bumped into Love, who subsequently traveled into the basket stanchion. Love, upset about a non-call, angrily swatted at the ball when a referee threw it to him to inbound. Raptors forward Stanley Johnson stole Love’s spiked pass on the play, dishing to a trailing Malachi Flynn for three.
The Cavaliers handled the matter internally and Love apologized for his poor attitude, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
“Not to say too much that could get me fined, but it was the officiating,” Love told Medina. “When I snagged that ball, I didn’t realize it wasn’t even inbounds. I was a little thrown off. I was going to go grab it and throw back into passing the ball to DG (Darius Garland) and move on. I get the optics. That’s something I have to take on the chin and understand that was a very bad look.”
Love, a 13-year veteran, has two years and $60.2MM remaining in his deal after the season. He was a valuable floor-spacer and locker room voice in the team’s championship run just five years ago. However, he has expressed his frustration on the court multiple times in recent years,
“I never want that to be who I am,” Love told reporters on Wednesday, as relayed by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I don’t want to be here and defend my character. Everything I do comes from a good place. This isn’t woe is me. These guys ride with me. I apologized. We’ve moved on. We even talked about it today, but I mean I know the perception and the way people want to make this. Me being a leader for the team and I know I’m going to take that on the chin. I’m going to be a man and take it on the chin.”
The Cavaliers are just 21-40 with 11 games left on the schedule. The team ranks six games behind the Wizards for the No. 10 seed and has only seen Love play in 18 games this season due to injury.