The Cleveland Cavaliers had Kevin Love back on the court for their devastating 108-97 loss in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, and the big fella knows he can’t quiet his growing legion of critics.
Love came off the bench after sitting out Game 3—a 120-90 laugher for the Cavs—but public opinion is strongly against him these days.
The three-time All-Star’s future in Cleveland is cloudy at best.
“It was tough,” Love said. “Being able to pass protocol, one of the things, you have to be symptom-free for a certain amount of time, I was told. Having to deal with the headaches, having to deal with not being able to sleep, initially being in the dark rooms. Just going over all the stuff and then not being able to play was so, so frustrating. It was a weird experience dealing with a concussion.”
Why does this conversation always seem to occur with him specifically? Why does public sentiment turn on him as soon as the Cavs stumble? […] “Why do you think?” Love said, answering a question with a question. “You’re part of it. I’m not saying you’re who does it, but you are there with the people that do … I don’t know how to answer it, because I have a couple bad games last series [against Toronto], tough games, and have to come back and do whatever I needed to do to help the team. Still, it’s just never enough.”
It’s with the same knowing tone that Love assesses the calls for him to be traded this offseason if the Cavs can’t pull off the improbable and win Games 5-7. […] “It’s an easy storyline, and people are going to run with it, and that’s always going to be how it is,” Love said of the calls to blow the Cavs up, despite two straight trips to the Finals. “But if you ask anybody on that team, including myself, this is the closest unit, closest group I’ve ever been around. I mean, I’ve been asked to do different things, being here. I’ve been asked to be the second, third guy — third guy most nights. It hasn’t been the easiest transition in the world, but as far as being a part of a family, this unit here, I’ve never been on a team that’s closer than this. So that’s why I don’t understand when I hear people say I’m a square peg in a round hole or something like that.”