Apr 2, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (left) and center Brendan Haywood (33) sit on the bench in the second quarter against the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN writer Brian Windhorst caused a major stir before Memorial Day weekend when he publicly stated he was puzzled why Kevin Love wasn’t around the the Cleveland Cavaliers during the team’s two road wins in Atlanta to open the Eastern Conference Finals.
Windhorst was feeding into the national perception that Love doesn’t fit in with his teammates and will be out of Cleveland the minute he can opt out of his contract and become a free agent.
All the nerves Windy struck can be eased because Love was in attendance at Quicken Loans Arena for the Cavs’ Game 3 win.
Windhorst wasn’t buying the argument that Love couldn’t travel because of the surgery he recently had to fix his torn labrum (shoulder).
But here’s why that argument holds weight. Just look at this picture:
Love is the guy kind of sitting in the middle of the isle. He’s not on bench, like Kyrie Irving, because, as common sense would tell us, he probably can’t sit in close quarters because any bump to his shoulder probably hurts like heck.
There’s also an adrenaline rush when sitting on the bench or the front row where players like to high five and chest bump. Love probably shouldn’t be participating in those celebrations with the injury. By sitting behind his teammates, he’s eliminating the risk of one of this teammates coming up and yanking his arm/shoulder in a display of excitement.
Now, imagine Love on a plane. Yes, the Cavs travel first class, but traveling can be a bear, and being buckled into an airplane seat when your trying to manage pain can be a burden, no matter how comfortable it may be. If there’s risk involved into getting onto an airplane, Love shouldn’t do it. It’s that simple.
While Windhorst may be off in his assessment of while Love isn’t traveling, his thoughts into Love’s potential free agency are intriguing. The former Plain Dealer writer has stated numerous times that he can’t get a read on what Love will do this summer.
On and off the record, Love said he wants to be in Cleveland, while NBA executives and agents believe he’s gone.
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As long as the Lakers are around, there will be talk about Love going to Los Angeles, but with Kobe Bryant entering his final year with the franchise, on top of the few years it will take the team to develop their No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, the Lakers just don’t seem like an ideal destination…yet.
If Russell Westbrook decides to bolt for LA next summer, then all bets are off. But who knows? A lot can happen in a year.
As for now, Love is a Cav, and it was good to see he participated in a light workout at Cleveland Clinic Courts on Saturday. He probably just wrote the stationary bike, but he’s present, and it’s a step to getting back on the court.