When Kevin Love admitted that he and LeBron James “aren’t best friends” and that they don’t hang out regularly, some outside the team wanted to read into it more than they should.
Love has struggled to fit in consistently on the court with this Cavaliers team, and the fact that he wasn’t tight personally with its best player caused further speculation that he might bolt in free agency once the season is finished.
But all of that is pure nonsense.
The fact is that players on a given team don’t have to be all that close to be successful, and James himself essentially confirmed as much when stating that he only has three good friends in the league — none of whom play for the Cavaliers.
“People get so infatuated with the best of friends, things of that nature,” James said. “First of all, I’ve got three very good friends in this league, and that’s Carmelo (Anthony), and that’s C.P. (Chris Paul), and that’s D-Wade. And after that I have a bunch of teammates. I have guys I ride for every day.
“But Kyrie is a guy I understand how important he is to this team, how important he is. And the same with Kev as well.”
Love may never get to where James and Irving are now as friends. Both James and Love agreed that whether or not that ever happens isn’t important – it’s if the Cavs win that matters.
And that’s it exactly.
Love is likely to re-up with the Cavaliers on a new deal this summer, but if something causes him to choose to do otherwise, the lack of a friendship with James will be the least of those reasons.
The main thing that could push Love away would be the Cavaliers suffering an earlier-than-expected playoff loss, while his role was marginalized at the very same time. Only then would he be truly motivated to consider playing anywhere else.