Playing with LeBron James isn’t for everyone.
Perhaps, no two players show this better than Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.
Love and Irving never made the playoffs until joining forces with LeBron James. LeBron led Love, Irving and the Cavaliers to the last three NBA Finals, and they won the 2016 title. LeBron’s teammates get plenty of open shots, team success and big contracts.
Irving requested a trade and was dealt to the Celtics.
Love, even among increased disarray, is digging in in Cleveland.
In Love’s mind, regardless of how bad it looks right now, he absolutely believes this Cavaliers team can still win another championship in June – and there aren’t many teams that can realistically think that way. That’s why he hasn’t and won’t go to management or ownership and ask to be traded between now and the Feb. 8 deadline, Love told The Athletic.
Love doesn’t get enough credit for getting over his ego and helping the Cavaliers. He’s not as good as he was with the Timberwolves. He doesn’t match up well against the Warriors. But he does plenty to to help, and he takes a lot of grief in the process.
Though he was never going to publicly request a trade – not even Irving did that – Love didn’t have to specify that he wouldn’t. He could have simply said his future in Cleveland is up to management, not him, and left all options on the table. He went a step further. Nothing will stop him from changing his mind, but I doubt he would have said this publicly if he hadn’t already considered his options and made what he believes to be a final decision.
The Cavs could still trade Love. They don’t need his consent. But on a team with chemistry issues, Love’s dedication ought to count for something.