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Cavaliers’ Kevin Love’s true source of frustration that resulted in meltdown

Cavaliers, Kevin Love1

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love spawned another viral moment Monday night against the Toronto Raptors, though his anger was not directed at his teammates.

In a strange moment, Love immediately and unintentionally batted the ball inbounds, leading to a turnover and three-pointer by Raptors guard Malachi Flynn. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the gesture was apparently a reflection of his disappointment in the officiating, notably former G League referee Brandon Schwab:

Love’s intent wasn’t to slap the ball inbounds, sources said. Love was frustrated with officials and not his team’s performance, sources said.

Schwab is a G-League official and players expressed irritation with the consistency in calls, sources said. Players from around the league have shared their concerns privately and publicly with the influx of new officials this season.

It would have been easy to bring a different interpretation to the situation, given some of Love’s recent history.

The five-time All-Star openly voiced his frustration with the Cavaliers on multiple occasions last season. Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported he lashed out at general manager Koby Altman during a shoot-around last January.

More recently, Love stated how disgruntled he was at the Cavaliers missing opportunities to win games vital to its hopes of getting a spot in the play-in tournament. Things have gone from bad to worse for the Cavaliers since Love made those comments, as Cleveland has lost four of its last five and is all but eliminated from the play-in race.

Haynes reported the team is handling the matter internally. Love apologized for his actions, though Haynes added he could still be fined.

 

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