Tension between Kevin Love, teammates reportedly began last season
Kevin Love was the target of some criticism from teammates — mostly former ones — in January after he left a game with an illness and missed a practice, but apparently there have been some issues between him and other Cleveland Cavaliers players since last season.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin provided more context surrounding the tense meeting Love had where he was supposedly called out by Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade. While both Thomas and Wade were traded earlier this month, it sounds like they weren’t the only ones frustrated with Love. Sources told McMenamin there was some “lingering” tension since Love went to the locker room after he fouled out of a game last season.
There were still lingering feelings, sources told ESPN, from how Love handled a loss in Chicago last March when he fouled out midway through the fourth quarter and immediately retreated to the locker room, rather than remain on the bench in support of his team. Jefferson ran to the back to bring him back out, but the damage was done.
Love, of course, was not the reason the sub-.500 Bulls scored 37 points in the third quarter that day. He wasn’t the reason Irving shot 7-for-20, or the reason Shumpert shot 2-for-8, or the reason James had four turnovers and shot 1-for-4 (0-for-3 from 3) in the fourth quarter. Even if he was a scapegoat, as often has been the case with Love in his three and a half seasons in Cleveland, there was still a perception of him giving up on the team.
Love was recently asked about why he always seems to be the scapegoat when things aren’t going well for the Cavs, and he had a pretty admirable response. For whatever reason, this has pretty much become the norm in Cleveland despite him being one of the best players on the roster.