Richard Jefferson says Kevin Love doesn’t get enough credit for ‘The Stop’
With the Cleveland Cavaliers leading the Golden State Warriors by three points with under a minute to go in Game 7 the 2016 NBA Finals. the Warriors got the exact matchup they wanted: Kevin Love on Stephen Curry.
You know, one of the worst defensive big men in the league on the MVP point guard who had eviscerated defenses all year long.
What ended up occurring was a very unexpected result: Love stopped Curry.
Not only did Love hold his own, but he stayed with Curry every step of the way, not biting on any of Curry’s fakes or hesitations and actually forcing Curry to pass the ball off before he got the ball back with a low shot clock, where Love once again stayed with him and contested an off-balance three-pointer that clanked.
The Cavs then went on to win that game and Richard Jefferson still remembers the stop until this day:
“Kevin Love, one-on-one in space with Steph Curry, with the NBA Finals on the line,” Jefferson wrote in The Players’ Tribune. “With the weight of history on his shoulders. What he did will never get enough credit. Kevin stops Steph not just once, but twice, and forces an impossible shot. For me, that play is the essence of basketball. Forget everything that came before that moment. The whole game. The whole series. The whole season. The whole 50-plus years that Cleveland was waiting for their title.”
Jefferson reached back-to-back NBA Finals with the Cavs in 2016 and 2017 and spent 20 games with the Denver Nuggets last season before retiring after a 17-year career.