Love Will Keep Us Together
There was a lot of talk and speculation recently after LeBron James sent out a tweet that was believed to be directed at Kevin Love. The tweet stated “Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts”. LeBron eventually admitted it was aimed toward Kevin Love, who said there was no issue between he and LeBron. While many people took this situation as perceived drama, Cleveland fans should be thrilled that James sent the message. That is because it was a message that needed to be sent. Recently, Kevin Love had displayed poor body language and seemed to be frustrated with his role. This is normal for a player who has been the focal point and first option for every team he has ever played for. He was a star in high school, a star at UCLA, and the best player on a poor team in Minnesota.
Love is playing in a completely different situation than he ever has before. He is playing alongside two other bonafide all-stars who need the ball in their hands to be most effective. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James are two of the most dynamic scorers in the league, naturally Love is going to be the third option on this Cavs team. He is getting fewer shots and opportunities to touch the ball than ever before in his career. It is only natural that a period of frustration and adjustment was going to come. We saw much of the same with Chris Bosh in Miami. It took him a while to accept his role on a team with two other legitimate superstars. It sounds so easy to take a step back and sacrifice for the good of the team. However, that is much easier said than done. Whether they want to admit it or not, ego is a big part of being a star in the NBA. You have to have a certain self-confidence and belief in yourself to be successful in this league. To go from being #1 to #3 bruises that ego a bit; Bosh and Dwayne Wade have admitted as such.
While Love’s frustration is natural and expected, it is now time for him to put those personal issues aside. Kevin came to Cleveland for one reason; to win games and compete for an NBA Championship. He had to understand that a decline in his personal numbers would a part of the deal. He previously played on a Timberwolves team that was terrible and never had a chance to win anything. With the Cavaliers, he now has a chance to be a part of something that could live forever in NBA history. He needs to remember that what he is playing for now is more important than any personal accomplishment he could achieve.
By sending the tweet, LeBron was simply reminding Kevin Love of this reality. The Cavs are heading towards the stretch run of a long season which will culminate with the playoffs. LeBron has been down this road before but many of his young teammates, including Love, have not. He knows that he needs everyone completely focused and locked in on the ultimate goal as they move closer to the postseason. This tweet was his way of motivating Love to get ready for what lies ahead. Being a four-time MVP and two-time Champion, you would think James has earned that clout and respect.
As we saw during the loss to the Bulls before the All-Star break, Kevin Love is essential to Cleveland’s success. Regardless of his early struggles, he is a crucial part of this team and it will be extremely difficult to go deep in the playoffs without him focused and playing well. LeBron knows this better than anyone, which is more than likely why he felt he needed to send out that tweet. Cavs fans should be happy that their leader is stepping up to let everyone know that this can be extremely special and everyone needs to be ready. It shows that The King is all in and ready to chase the title Cleveland has been waiting for. It is time for Kevin Love to follow suit!