Kevin Love has always been one of the most talented power forwards in the NBA. Once upon a time, he finished 6th in MVP voting. Now when you list of the best players in the NBA, Love doesn’t even cross your mind. Why is this?
When Love was traded from the Timberwolves to the Cavaliers, many people knew what was coming. Love was going to have to take a lesser role and become more of a stretch 4.
We knew this because we watched Chris Bosh and LeBron play together, and when Love was traded, people started drawing comparisons to Bosh in Miami. Love has taken much less 2-point field goal attempts since his early days in Minnesota. Occasionally when we watch Kevin Love play it feels like he is just playing off Kyrie Irving and LeBron James as an outlet pass option. Love shot the second most three pointers of his career last year as a result.
Love clearly has started to take more jump shots in his tenure in Cleveland than he did in Minnesota. Is Love’s main strength as a jump shooter? Probably not. Love used to dominate the post, and we as fans have to wonder if he has started to miss those days.
Love has also been great at not causing media troubles. Love’s name is constantly thrown around rumor mills, but he has not complained. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving’s name got put in trade talks, and he has now requested a trade because he feels disrespected and does not want LeBron to get special treatment over him. Love has been a class act and many internet trolls have called Cleveland’s big three the “big two and a half.”
LeBron is a very demanding teammate, and rightfully so; he knows what it takes to win a championship. Kevin Love has won a championship in Cleveland with LeBron, which should have cleared all the hate exclaiming that the Wiggins for Love trade was bad for Cleveland. Somehow, it did not. With the new Kyrie trade rumors and LeBron to the Lakers rumors, some Cleveland fans have pointed the finger to Kevin Love. For all the sacrifices Love has had to put forth to help push Cleveland over the top for a championship, he sure doesn’t get the respect he deserves.
Regardless, Love will will always be remembered as an NBA champion, a multi-time all-star, and another partner of LeBron James who inevitably got overshadowed while playing alongside him.