Three thoughts about Kevin Love and his situation with the Cavaliers

Love apologized for his recent actions on Tuesday

James Rapien
January 07, 2020 - 6:28 pm
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CLEVELAND, OH — Kevin Love has been acting out recently. The Cavaliers’ star is frustrated with the direction of the team, as the organization continues to rebuild in the post-LeBron era.

Love was fined $1,000 by the Cavaliers for slapping a chair repeatedly and yelling during a blowout loss to the Raptors on Dec. 31.

Just a few days later, The Athletic reported that Love got into a verbal altercation with general manager Koby Altman during shootaround. Later that night, Love ran to the top of the key and called for the ball from Collin Sexton. He caught the pass and immediately fired it at Cedi Osman with just a few seconds remaining on the shot clock. It was a bad look for the 5-time All-Star.

Love apologized on Tuesday morning for his actions. Here are three takeaways from what he said:

He is Sorry

There will be plenty of people that question Love’s apology, but it seemed genuine. He’s 31 years old, but admitted he had been acting like a child.

"Listen, I f---ked up,” Love said. I showed my actions on a national level. That was childish of me.

“I let my emotions get the best of me. That’s not going to happen moving forward. I’ve told you guys all along — I read like a damn cheap novel and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I need to be better.”

Love doesn’t have a reputation of being a diva. This happens in sports all of the time. Love is a good guy — at least on the surface. He also wants to play meaningful basketball at this stage of his career.

He Still Wants Out and the Cavs should trade him

Love isn’t happy in Cleveland. Of course, he doesn’t regret signing the 4-year, $120 million extension he signed in July 2018. He also didn’t complain publicly about the direction of the organization, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy with the Cavaliers.

"I don't care if I'm here for five more months or five more weeks,” Love said. “I'm going to try to do my best by these guys and by the coaching staff.”

He’s going to work hard, but all signs point to Love being traded in the near future. Altman has to get him out of town, even if it means taking less than he had hoped in a deal.

It’s easy for Love to be remorseful after the fact, but actions speak louder than words. Both local and national media ripped him for his antics, which probably made him take a step back and reflect on his actions. That doesn’t mean he should be a part of the rebuild. Love still wants out and the Cavaliers should grant him his wish before the Feb. 6 deadline.

“I’ve always wanted to be here,” Love said. “Obviously, I don’t know what the next few weeks are going to hold and this has been a frustrating situation. I know that this is a team that’s rebuilding and wants to go young.”

Beilein Continues to be a Pro

John Beilein has handled the situation well, which is something most first-year coaches wouldn’t be able to do. Instead of throwing Love under the bus or criticizing him publicly, he’s stuck up for the veteran. Beilein took the blame when Love melted down at the end of the first half against the Thunder. 

Both Beilein and Altman spoke with Love prior to Sunday’s game against the Timberwolves. The 5-time All-Star apologized for his actions.

“It’s a long season and you’re going to have those times where frustrations come up, really on both sides,” Beilein said prior to Tuesday’s game against the Pistons. “You have to just talk it out afterwards, and I think he knows that there’s timing for all of that and the timing has got to be better.”

The Cavaliers must go all-in on Beilein if his program is going to work in Cleveland. Getting negative influences out of the locker room is a big part of the solution. It’s up to Altman to do his due diligence and make sure he’s bringing in high character players that are more than willing to play for the Cavs and help them build a solid foundation for the future.

Beilein is all-in with the Cavaliers. They need to return the favor.