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Why Kevin Love waited to join LeBron James at the podium after Game 5

After Thursday’s night’s series-clinching 135-102 Game 5 victory over the Boston Celtics, members of the Cleveland Cavaliers organization made their way to the locker room to celebrate their third consecutive Eastern Conference championship.

Chris Fedor of cleveland.com writes in his recent article that Kevin Love and LeBron James were supposed to make an appearance at the post-game media table together, as they often do. However, in an act of respect, Love backed out to give James a solo spotlight.

“I just told (communications director) Tad (Carper) I wouldn’t share a podium with him because tonight is a night where he deserves to be on his own,” Love said.

James, who turned in 35 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, three steals, and one block in his 35 minutes of playing time on Thursday night, had just passed Michael Jordan for the No. 1 spot on the NBA’s all-time postseason scoring list.

“He’s been so special for us,” Love said. “We know what he brings to this game as a whole, brings to this league, our organization. Every night he brings it for us, sets the tone, and it’s no different. There are so many different milestones and accolades that have come his way, and me being here for — this is my third year now — having seen him accomplish so much is truly special.”

Love had a solid performance in Game 5, scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. The former UCLA stand-out recalled the exact play in which James passed Jordan — a walk-up three-pointer.

“I mentioned not taking things for granted,” Love said. “One of those nights. It was truly special to be a part of, and we knew it too. When we drew up the play in the timeout in the third quarter and he came out and he was shooting the ball so well, went in, and we’re celebrating it for him. It was big. Special.”

Several of his teammates, including Love, Tristan Thompson, and J.R. Smith, eventually joined the King during his post-game interview. As James spoke about his milestone achievement, the group of teammates listened, laughed, and took a quick selfie.

Podium squad with the All Time Post Season Scoring Leader. Eastern Conference Champs X3!!!

A post shared by @kevinlove on

Now, the Cavs will face the Golden State Warriors in the championship round for an unprecedented third consecutive season. Game 1 is set for June 1st at 9:00 p.m. on TNT.

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