Runner-up to Tyler Herro in the voting for best sixth man of the year, Kevin Love would undoubtedly deserve the “Returning Player of the Year” trophy if he still existed. While many thought he would be cut or that he no longer had the level to play in the NBA, the former All-Star found himself in this role as 6th man of the Cavaliers alongside a slew of young talent. The franchise’s management had brought in Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen, but had also extended Jarrett Allen’s contract.
Trust – After the most frustrating injury of my career during the 20/21 season and my retirement from Team USA over the summer because I didn’t feel completely healed and fit, many people said I was done, “he posted on Instagram. “Some even went so far as to write that ‘Love should consider retiring early …’ This also came from people I thought I respected and who, in front of me and behind me, were hypocrites. I never let those comments shake my confidence.
Positivity – Sacrifices bring more results than they cost. For this team to take a leap forward, I had to sacrifice myself and get off the bench for the first time in 13 years. I didn’t struggle, I was eager to make a positive impact and be as productive as I always have. I am grateful to JB (Bickerstaff) for his transparency and trust. You allowed me to be the best version of myself. The relationship between us will always be bigger than basketball.
Love by numbers – The statistics don’t lie, and I’ll give you some … I finished first in the double-double ranking for players who left the bench. I broke a franchise record by 3 points scored by a substitute. I’m the number 1 three-point shooter on the team with 187 baskets. I am the co-leader of the NBA in forced passes. And since my goal was to be as available as possible, I am the one who has played the most in the team, and with the exception of the games lost due to Covid, I have played all of them.