Miami Heat forward Kevin Love is a weird thing to say after the five-time All-Star spent nine seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nonetheless, it’s the current reality, as Love reached a contract buyout with the Cavs last month and signed on with Miami after jumping ship.
Love, who was struggling on both ends at 34-years-old, was being passed up in the rotation in favor of younger guys with more offensive or defensive potential. Frankly, considering a consistent theme of dissatisfaction with his minutes, the writing was on the wall for Love before the trade deadline.
If the Cavs didn’t move him, Love would likely leave to find a team that would give him a role.
However, while there are rumors about tensions between Love and the Cavs brass, Love has no love lost for the franchise. In fact, Love believes that “professionally, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do without question,” as he relayed to reporters after the Heat lost to the Cavs on Wednesday (h/t Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.
I think you guys know how much I love Cleveland and Ohio. All the fans there have always supported me and the team,” Love continues.
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“I go back to Brecksville, and I’m like, ‘We did that. We really did that.’ That was incredibly hard to do after eight and a half seasons…”
Love has only played incrementally more with the Heat than he was with Cavs, averaging 22.1 minutes per game with his current club after averaging 20.0 minutes per game with Cleveland this season. However, he has started in all seven games he’s played for Miami, with the floundering South Florida club desperately needing his presence on the board and the threat of his 3-point ability.