The Cleveland Cavaliers are gearing up for what promises to be a long, and bloody war with the Chicago Bulls.
And they’ll have to do battle without Kevin Love and his surgically-repaired left shoulder.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving revealed just how crestfallen the rest of the team was by Love’s injury.
Irving and the Cavs realize just how arduous the rest of their Playoff journey will be, but Kyrie says that Love’s health is his primary concern.
Per the News-Herald:
“It’s more of a devastation for us as a team,” Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving said. “We’ve been building something for so long. We’ve done a great job of keeping everything in house and taking care of each other. When one of your brothers goes down, there was a piece of us that went with him.”
“I spoke to him this morning,” he said. “I told him I was praying for him and we have his back. That’s the way this team is. We all probably texted him. Once it happened, we said in a group text that everything was going to be OK. ‘We have your back.’ […] “His health at the end of the day was most important. I know he’ll be cheering us on. He’s an incredible teammate and incredible brother. We’re going to miss him out there. In the grand scheme of things, the next guy has to step up. Other guys have to step up, including myself. He can’t be replaced. We have to find a way for his presence to be felt out there.”
“It was a gift and a curse after Game 4 (vs the Boston Celtics),” Irving said. “I wanted to be excited. I wanted to jump around the room. It was my first playoff series that we won, especially on a sweep. But when you found out that J.R. (Smith) and Kevin went down, it puts things in perspective. We still have to be locked in.” […] “You have to be a professional,” Irving said. “We’re all hurting. I’m hurting right now. I’m doing everything to process it. I have to move on. It’s part of the game. Unexpected things happen. We didn’t prepare for this. We will be prepared for the next team we play in the semifinals.”