Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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Defining the moments of the NBA season: Kevin Love throws the ball to his teammate Cedi Osman

The NBA is looking forward to the near future. To help fill the void, we are looking back the decisive moments of the 65-year-old games of the 2019-20 season so far.


It is strange that Kevin Love still plays basketball in Cleveland.

It is not strange that he is not part of a great team; he played the first six years of his career in Minnesota, without ever having made the playoffs. It is not strange that he is playing a maximum contract that the rest of the league has deemed undesirable; his offense has always been exceptional, but his defense has always come with questions.

It’s strange that you keep playing basketball Cleveland—The city where its trade for no. 1 choice Andrew Wiggins sparked the debate; the city where he could not enter LeBron James’ ideal vision for the chemistry championship; the city in which he helped win a title by defending the back-to-back MVP championship in a crucial end-of-game possession on the road in game 7 of the NBA finals.

All the others, except Tristan Thompson, have disappeared from the 2016 championship team. LeBron is on the Lakers, Kyrie is sailing on the astral plane, J.R. Smith is out of the league and Ty Lue is an assistant coach for the Clippers. Of all people, love remains. I think that is also strange. I think, at times, he might think of other things about still being in Cleveland. For example, “Fuck those kids.”

The beauty of this moment of the NBA is not that it is particularly consequential, or even representative of Love’s relationship with Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman and the rest of the young core of Cavs. Love later said that his frustration was situational and that he had a good relationship with Sexton. Perhaps his frustration was really the result of the inability to force a trade off from a team coached by John Beilein. Veterans of Love and other Cavs did not seem to re-learn the triple threat position from a converted Big Ten manager. It’s not for me that Kevin Love did it The RingerThe list of Defining the NBA moments for two reasons that do not exactly sing the praises of his place among the best in the league: getting angry with his teammates and almost being crushed by the (likely) Rookie of the Year Ja Morant. Sometimes the NBA limelight will pass over you, or in this case, over you.

It is comforting to know that even in a singular job like the National Basketball Association, you can have a bad day and feel frustrated with your colleagues. And it’s doubly comforting to know that where you and I could throw the proverbial swing pass from 100 miles per hour to our colleagues’ shins because they continue to respond to an email discussion on TV brackets and sporting moments to revisit, Love literally scrutinizes an Oscillation 100 miles per hour to Osman in the middle of a televised basketball game. (Justice for Cedi, he did nothing wrong here.)

The moment was finally forgotten, just like the rest of Love’s 18-10-3 season. But it’s as strong in my heart as the next chapter in a long and illustrious NBA veteran story that absolutely hates playing with younger players, especially those who beat the air from the ball and on average only three assists. Never say that LeBron, who shot every teammate under the age of 25, didn’t teach Love anything. Right now, Kevin Love has finally stopped finding a way to FIT-OUT.

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