BOSTON – LeBron James was riffing on Kevin Love when he went down a path he immediately realized was incorrect.
“He’s been highly criticized this year for I don’t know why,” LeBron said. “I know why. I know why. I know.”
Suddenly, it felt as if the room full of reporters all asked the follow-up question at once: “Why?”
“When you have a big three, they’ve got to find someone,” LeBron said. “When I was in Miami, Chris Bosh was that guy at one point. So, I know why. I’ve seen it before.
“They’ve got find somebody. And Kevin was the guy they tried to find and tried to tear him down. One thing about him, he’s always stayed positive. I’ve always believed in him. I don’t really get too involved in what everybody say. I know what type of player he is, what type of competitor he is.
“I know he relishes this opportunity to be a part of this franchise and to be a part of the postseason. So, with everything said the first eight months of the season, he’s definitely used that as motivation, I believe. I think he’s a big-time player. He’s a very cerebral basketball player. In order for us to be the team that we want to be long-term, Kevin is going to be Kevin.”
This is the most understanding of Love I’ve heard LeBron.
Now, it appears LeBron and Love have crossed a bridge. Whether the progress started on or off the court, it’s snowballing in both realms.
Bosh warned Love that playing with LeBron would be “extremely frustrating” – but Bosh also said it wouldn’t get easier. Maybe Bosh was only half right.