I’ll have more to say soon but want to get this off my chest.
To the people of Cleveland and all of Ohio. I fucking LOVE you…and always will. Thank you for everything.
More to come. #0️⃣
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) February 18, 2023
Love was in the midst of his ninth season with the team and the final year of a four-year contract that was paying him an average of $30 million per season.
However, after recently being removed from the Cavaliers’ rotation, Love’s spot on the team roster appeared to become more tentative. Reportedly, Love requested a buyout from the Cavaliers prior to the team’s last game before the All-Star break on Wednesday.
Love’s time with the Cavaliers was not always smooth, with injuries plaguing him throughout his tenure. In addition, he was mentioned frequently in trade rumors that continued up to this season’s trade deadline.
During the former first-round pick’s career with the Cavaliers, he also became a prominent face in the area of mental health in the NBA. That was the result of emotional issues that he dealt with, including panic attacks.
One of the reasons why Love’s time with the Cavaliers is appreciated is because when he was healthy, he was more than likely to contribute a double-double during a game. His ability to score was never more evident than in November 2016, when he exploded for 34 points during the first quarter of a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The one-time champion’s play on defense was not always recognized but became a part of Cavaliers lore in June 2016. It was in the final minute of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals that Love’s harassing defense on Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry helped the Cavs clinch the franchise’s first and only NBA championship.
Regardless of where Love ends up, it seems certain that when he returns for a game in Cleveland, he’ll be showered with cheers from the fans he so passionately saluted.