In many critics eyes, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love hasn’t lived up to expectations of what was predicted when he teamed up with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving a couple of years back. However, despite an anticipated dip in numbers, Love still has averaged a double-double in his first two seasons in Cleveland.
Apparently, averaging 17/10 and 18/11 while playing with two ball dominating perimeter players will earn you criticism. But despite being under the microscope — like he’s never experienced before — Love managed to fight through the noise that is the media, insiders, pundits and fans. And thanks to a historic comeback down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, Love’s future in Cleveland is safe for now…or is it?
Following a dreadful NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in which Love averaged 8.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg, the whispers of a potential trade of Kevin Love haven’t exactly died off. In fact, Love already knows the criticism and trade rumors will pick up soon, but frankly, doesn’t give a shit.
His last two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers were rife with speculation surrounding his fit next to two ball-dominant players in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Questions abounded about whether both Love and the Cavs would be better off trading him away.
Love says that noise still exists; he just has learned to block it out.
“They’ll never be gone,” Love said Friday when asked about the critics. “That’s just something that you live with. We have so much hype and media and the good and the bad surrounding this team and it just comes with the territory.
“So, I love this team, love the coaching staff, my teammates, the organization. I mean, I don’t think it will ever leave but frankly, I don’t really give a s—.”
Love’s signature moment in Cleveland came with 30 seconds left, up three, in Game 7, while being isolated against the NBA’s MVP, Stephen Curry. It’s now known as “The Stop” in Cleveland, but more importantly, it was the most important sequence in Cavaliers history and it involved Love winning a defensive battle with arguably the Association’s most lethal scorer — which K-Love isn’t exactly known for his defensive prowess.
While that certainly will rank up there in the lure of Cleveland sports history, that might not be enough to secure Love’s long-term future in Cleveland. LeBron James is probably only has 2-3 years left of his prime before an inevitable decline is expected. In other words, James is going to need more help than ever and if Love can’t be that guy, you’d think a trade would be on the horizon.
On another note, we’re five minutes into training camp for christ sake. Lets pump the brakes on the criticsm and trade talk, critics.