John Beilein insists Kevin Love's antics won't impact the Cavs' young players

Beilein is focused on building solid foundation, despite Love's recent actions

James Rapien
January 05, 2020 - 7:05 pm
Nov 14, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein walks courtside during the first quarter against the Miami Heat at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, OH — Cavaliers head coach John Beilein didn't flinch when asked about Kevin Love’s recent antics and reports about the 5-time All-Star being unhappy in Cleveland.

Love reportedly got into a verbal argument with general manager Koby Altman on Saturday afternoon after being fined $1,000 by the team for his sideline tantrum during the Cavaliers’ loss to the Raptors on Dec. 31.

Love followed that up by yelling at Collin Sexton and firing a pass at Cedi Osman at the end of the first half on Saturday night against the Thunder. 

"We were in the bonus and Chris Paul was on me," Love said after the game. "Swing it to me and try to throw it in the post, see if they double team and get a good shot out of that. Yeah, I was frustrated."

The first-year head coach insists that Love’s on-court body language hasn’t impacted the young players on the roster.

“We build relationships with all our guys that we can have side conversations with them and with Kevin as well,” Beilein said. “People are going to get frustrated in games and you just end up dealing with it and the whole idea is what every coach will tell you, ‘Let’s take care of that in the locker room. Let’s take care of that in the coaches’ office and we all grow from it.”

Love’s body language has been poor in recent weeks. The 31-year-old clearly wants to be traded, but hasn’t gone public with his demands. Love has made it clear to Altman that he wants to be dealt to a contender.

It’s one thing to have a disgruntled veteran on the roster. It’s another when it’s your most accomplished and best player that has an issue with the direction of the team. Love is in year one of a 4-year, $120 million extension. He’s under contract through the 2022-2023 season.

Beilein hopes to build a winning culture in Cleveland. The 66-year-old maintains that the disgruntled All-Star won’t get in the way of the big picture for the Cavaliers.

“When you’re in this situation — which I’ve been in several times now — in the first, second, one time even the third year, you’re trying to build a strong foundation,” Beilein said. “There’s going to be inevitable times that seem like obstacles and they’re really great teaching moments that you can spin around and make them to be, ‘Hey, remember those days? Wasn’t that funny when those things happened to us?’ Look at how far we’ve gone. And every time that we’ve won a championship or made the NCAA Tournament or did something, I always think about those moments and I look back at it as great teaching moments for the team also for the coaching staff — including me.”​

Beilein hopes to establish a winning culture in Cleveland. The Cavs have revolved around LeBron James for the better part of two decades.

Love setting a bad example for youngsters like Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and Collin Sexton can’t be good — especially if they’re going to be a part of the solution in Cleveland.

Beilein may say it's a non issue publicly, but Altman and the Cavs need to do the right thing and trade Love before the Feb. 6 deadline.