Kevin Love: ‘I Want to Play Until I’m 40’

by July 06, 2015

Cleveland Cavaliers star forward Kevin Love is one of several pro athletes posing buck naked for ESPN mag’s annual “Body” issue, and the 26-year-old believes he has many, many years of high-level hoops left in the tank.

Love, who struggled in his first year with the Cavs—16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds a night—says his season-ending left shoulder injury was a bear to overcome.

Cleveland has agreed to ink the big guy to a five-year, $110 million deal and he says his best play is ahead:

“I was really looking forward to the playoffs. This injury is one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with. It was really tough to go out the way that I did. I knew when it happened I probably wasn’t going to be able to return to play. But when I heard the news that I was going to have to get surgery, and be out for four to six months, it was a big, big blow to me. […] Of course I was pissed. I was very emotional. And that was seen and heard, what I said [about Olynyk’s allegedly dirty play]. I wanted to make this deep run with these guys and be out there on the floor. That was very tough, from a human aspect.”


ON HIS WEIGHT STRUGGLES: “Oh, you couldn’t keep me out of the cupboards. Especially sixth through eighth grade, I was always very hungry. That’s when I was growing. And my mom was a great cook; I was very spoiled when I was young. Her fettuccine alfredo? Yeah, you eat that on a regular basis and you’re not gonna be in the Body Issue. […] I got teased, like any kid who was round and big would be. And coming out of college, I was, for lack of a better term, doughy. I was watching Charles Barkley when he was drafted in 1984 out of Auburn, he was the “Round Mound of Rebound.” I was like that. I rebounded, and I was roundish. Well, maybe rounder is more appropriate.”


“Fitness really clicked for me once I got into the league. I try to be cerebral about it. In college, you play two-three games a week, and that was it. In the league, sometimes you have four games in five nights. You play 82 games, maybe, plus USA Basketball in the summer. The travel is unprecedented. I was playing Tim Duncan in San Antonio one night and, like, Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics the next. […] I’m a very routine-based person. I do yoga. During the season, the Cavs have us do Pilates. I like working out in sand — there’s nothing quite like it in terms of firing so many different muscles. I do resistance training. I have someone who helps me with nutrition. I have a chef in Cleveland. I check ingredients. Now I look at it as refueling.”


“At the end of the day, I want to play until I’m 40. And I would like it to be my choice. I 100 percent think that my best basketball is ahead of me.”