Kevin Love Describes How Kyrie Irving’s Call to LeBron James Went Down

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Kyrie Irving’s acknowledgement that he phoned former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James to apologize for not understanding the pressures of leading a team got plenty of media attention on Wednesday night.

One report indicates that when the call was made, James happened to be dining with another of his former Cavs teammates: forward Kevin Love.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic indicated that James and Love were at a pizzeria in Los Angeles on Sunday night with people close to James: Rich Paul, LeBron’s agent, Lynn Merritt, head of Nike basketball, Ted Curvy, Merritt’s deputy, and Randy Mims, James’ close friend, business partner and a member of the Lakers’ front office. Vardon noted Love’s account of the situation:

“LeBron looked down at his phone and he showed us. He was like, ‘I wonder what he wants?’”

Love was at a loss when trying to explain the significance of Irving making contact:

“Yeah, I haven’t really absorbed all of it yet. I was always close with Kyrie, we had a good a good relationship. I don’t know, I was having some vino and enjoying the night when LeBron showed me the call.”

When Irving announced he wanted to be traded from the Cavaliers in July 2017, one reported reason was that he no longer wanted to play with James. The two players went through some tumultuous periods, but ultimately played key roles in helping win the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA title.

Irving offered the information about his phone call to James just days after he had mirrored James’ leadership approach by calling out his teammates on the Boston Celtics. That team has been plagued by inconsistency all season after having been considered to be the top candidate to win the Eastern Conference this season.

Love is still rehabilitating his surgically repaired toe, but has been traveling with the team. Presently, there’s no indication exactly when he’ll be able to return to action.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.