HoopsHype Kevin Love rumors

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February 10, 2015 Updates

There's no question that this bumpy season has raised some reasonable questions about whether or not Love is the right long-term fit in Cleveland, especially with the three-time All-Star owning an opt-out in his contract following this season. It also led to some assumptions, among some, about whether or not Love has the right makeup to play for an NBA winner, and if he's truly willing to sacrifice for a contender. Ben Howland takes exception to such negative characterizations. "One thousand percent," said Howland, who coached Love and UCLA to the Final Four in Love's only collegiate season. "It's insulting." Bleacher Report

February 9, 2015 Updates

I know the trade deadline is approaching and an easy talk radio topic is whether the Cavs should trade Love. Not happening. The Cavs have not entertained any thought like that and haven’t discussed Love with any other teams. They are committed to making this work and Sunday was proof that it can. Akron Beacon Journal

“It was more about people in general,” James said. “It was a general thought I had. Obviously whatever thought I have people try to encrypt it and Da Vinci code it and all that stuff. People are always trying to fit out instead of fit in and be part of something special. That’s what it’s all about.” Akron Beacon Journal

After the large pack of cameras and recorders dissipated, a few of the regular beat writers stuck around a few extra minutes. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, who used the original “fit in/fit out” Love quote in an October story for ESPN, showed James the original quote. He smiled. When we pressed him on it some more, James laughed and said, “It’s not a coincidence, man.” Akron Beacon Journal

I was shocked. McMenamin was shocked. No recorders were running, no cameras were live. It was just some guys standing around talking. The conversation continued for a few more minutes before James dressed and headed for the door. I stopped him just to be clear. “When we’re standing around BSing like that, do you consider it on the record or off the record?” I asked. James responded: “Ain’t nothing off the record. I know everything that comes out of my mouth. If I say it, it’s on the record.” Then he pointed at McMenamin and walked out of the locker room. Akron Beacon Journal

Love, for his part, was blindsided by the whole thing. He has a Twitter account, but hasn’t posted anything since Christmas Eve. He had no idea about the tweet or James’ comments. Love was the last one to speak after the game. I didn’t want to embarrass him or put him on the spot in front of everyone, so when the crowd dispersed I filled him in. He had no idea what I was talking about so I showed him James’ tweet and explained James’ “it’s not a coincidence” remark. “I feel like I’ve done all the right things. I haven’t got upset or been down,” Love said. “There’s moments when I hope I would’ve played better but it’s a long, long season. I don’t know really what he’s talking about. I feel like I’ve sacrificed and I think everyone knows that. I’m not trying to downplay what he said, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job of trying to help this team.” Akron Beacon Journal

Love is an admitted introvert who enjoys sitting home and watching movies. Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic, who was Love’s closest friend in Minnesota, told me last week he had to struggle sometimes just to get Love to leave his apartment. Love wasn’t overly close with a lot of his teammates in Minnesota. The list consisted of Pekovic and Corey Brewer. That was about it. Akron Beacon Journal

February 8, 2015 Updates
February 7, 2015 Updates
February 5, 2015 Updates
February 3, 2015 Updates

Cavs first-year Coach David Blatt, who drew criticism last month for saying Love wasn't a max player yet – a reference to Love's contract, Blatt later said, not his ability – praised Love for fitting in. "He's averaging a double-double," Blatt said. "If you want to compare him to last year's numbers, maybe there's a difference. But that is still pretty good production for anyone, anywhere. He's doing that on a team where there are other players with the same type of capability in one respect or another. I think what he's doing is actually quite special. USA Today Sports

Said Love: "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an adjustment. I'm trying to find different ways to be as efficient as possible. It's something I prided myself on here. There are different ways for me to affect the game. I'm still figuring that out on this team. We still have 35-plus games left. That will continue to evolve and change and get better." Love struggled to pinpoint the best way to judge his season. "I don't know how to answer that. I don't really know," he said. "I came to the Cavaliers to win basketball games, and we're doing that now." USA Today Sports

After Kevin Love scored a season-low five points Monday and didn't attempt a shot after going 1-for-7 in the first quarter, LeBron James suggested there were more shots available for Love that he turned down and questioned whether his teammate's confidence might be shaken. "I think Kev had some shots that he passed up on," James said. "Maybe he felt that he just wasn't in a good rhythm, but I know I hit him with a few [potential] shots after the first quarter where he had some good looks when he decided to swing-swing [with a pass], which is OK, it kept the ball moving. So, I think for Kev, I think his confidence maybe shooting the ball is a little down, but for me as a player, I get him good looks. I want him to shoot the ball and he needs to shoot it with confidence." ESPN.com

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