Kevin Love’s philanthropy is a good look for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cavs fans.
If you’re a Cleveland Cavalier fan, the last few years have been tough. It’s been all downhill since the 2015-2016 season. Kyrie Irving got fed up with LeBron James and asked for a trade. Isiah Thomas was a mess physically and mentally, driving Kevin Love and James mad during his handful of months in the town. Then of course there was James leaving, the team having two-back-to-back losing seasons and Darius Garland’s not so good rookie year. The Cavs and their fans are suffering, you know, for a sports franchise. Not real-world suffering.
So when we talk about how to make the fanbase happy and keep people going, retaining Love has to be one of the big keys for the upcoming offseason. Too many people look at sports as a dollar-and-sense type of industry. How much is “so and so” producing and how much is “what’s his name” making against his production and blah blah blah. That isn’t to say there isn’t merit in those discussions, but people often forget that stats and contracts make up maybe half the reason to sign someone.
A wrecking ball of positivity
Being a good force in the locker room is just as important most times, though it’s not nearly as valued in sports media. Love demonstrates this by continuing his philanthropic tour of sorts by donating $500,000 to the UCLA psychology department, this after winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY’s for his battle and advocation for mental health treatment.
Love also donated $100,000 to arena employees at the start of the lockdown period, before any league or team owners of the NBA stepped in.
Kevin Love isn’t the 25 points, 20 rebounds guy he used to be in Minnesota. He’s still an 18 and 10 kinda player, who can rebound with the best of them and stretch the floor. While his contract is bloated, the team certainly could use his steady leadership as they continue to grow and develop. Considering his developing bond with Collin Sexton and the fact the Cavs will have two rookies to integrate into their team next year (the 2020 pick and 2019’s Dylan Windler), you want veterans like Love on your team.
Having someone of his talent and caliber allows younger guys an outlet to go to talk. To help figure things out or just have a sounding board as they work through something that a coach or a team trainer couldn’t really grasp. There have been many people calling for Love to be traded, yet there are just some things more valuable than an expiring contract and a late first-round pick.
Love’s generosity and ability to overcome adversity make him a perfect piece for this rebuilding Cavs team.