Does Love know that?
After Thomas reportedly led the charge against Love during a recent team meeting, Love rather demonstrably bent down to hand the ball to Thomas – who, at 5-foot-9, is the NBA’s shortest player – during the Cavaliers’ win over the Pacers on Friday.
One team source suggested to ESPN that it was a clear sign of Love trying to embarrass Thomas after the point guard was one of the instigators in calling out Love on Monday for leaving Cleveland’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder early last weekend during an explosive team meeting.
Love was not asked in his group session with the media about the play, but there was little doubt, based on several conversations after the game with Cavs players, that he meant what he did.
Spiraling dysfunction in Cleveland? Maybe.
But this also seems how friends might treat each other when annoyed with each other. Thomas didn’t like Love leaving the loss to Oklahoma City then missing practice the next day. Love didn’t like being called out for how he handled an illness. So, Love responded by trying to embarrass Thomas during a game. The back-and-forth could end here, both Thomas and Love satisfied they inflicted appropriate repercussions on the other. Deeper bonds prevent these issues from snowballing.
So does winning. The Cavaliers beat the Pacers on Friday then the Pistons on Sunday, Cleveland’s first win streak in more than a month. Keep that going, and Love and Thomas are more likely to leave any problems behind them.