Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love was supposed to have a resurgent experience with Team USA this summer in Tokyo.
Following Love’s abrupt exit, he was recently blasted by Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo for asking for the opportunity to play, but not being in shape to handle the job.
“I didn’t think Kevin Love was gonna play,” Colangelo said. “I wasn’t even sure he had much left to play. He reached out to us and said he was in shape and said he felt he owed us. And on the basis of that, we’re looking at someone with international experience who at one time was a heck of a rebounder and could still shoot the ball. You know, being like a 12th man on a roster. Well, it didn’t work out. He wasn’t in shape. And he was way behind as it turned out. So you move on. Call it a mistake. Call it giving someone an opportunity. Someone who had equity with us. Guys who play for us get a little plus.”
Love, 32, has been infamous for not being in complete shape over the last few years.
The forward’s production has steadily declined, which has made it difficult for the Cavs to move the disgruntled veteran. He averaged a mere 12.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season.
The opportunity for Love to compete with some of the world’s best players in Tokyo was seen as an opportunity to rejuvenate his career.
Nonetheless, opposing teams believe the marriage between Love and the Cavs will be over soon. Love has two more seasons left on the major four-year, $120 million contract he signed in 2018.
The Cavs selected transcendent talent Evan Mobley with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday.