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Taking issue with Kevin Love calling trade “his decision”

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I have a problem with some of the statements that Kevin Love made at his press conference yesterday. I’m trying really hard not to be a self-hating fan, but if I’m being perfectly honest, there are some issues with it. Here’s Love’s statement that set off my antenna.

“LeBron signed to come back, and a few hours later he called me and I said ‘I’m in,'” Love said Tuesday at a news conference. “That had a lot to do with my decision. It means a lot to be a part of this organization. … Everything in my entire life for the last six years had led me up to this opportunity.”

Maybe it’s just semantics, but Kevin Love shouldn’t have had the opportunity to say “I’m in.” Kevin Love shouldn’t have had the opportunity this off-season for his departure to the Cavaliers to be called “my decision.” Just because I live in the Cleveland area and the Cavaliers are the beneficiary doesn’t mean that I don’t find this somewhat problematic.

I know players are allowed to talk and “collusion” isn’t something that the league will even bother pretending to try to police. I’m also elated as a Cavs fan that LeBron James is doing serious recruiting on his own behalf. It all benefits me in the end. I also think that the package the Cavaliers gave to Minnesota was formidable as opposed to a retro-fitted trade like the Cavs made with the Heat after LeBron James made his free agency choice.

Still, Kevin Love’s characterization of joining the Cavaliers isn’t right and if I was a Timberwolves fan—or maybe even just a general NBA fan—the way he spoke about the situation would leave me wondering about the rules. It’s the same kind of icky feeling I had when the Cavs traded Zydrunas Ilguaskas for Antawn Jamison and then re-signed him after he was later cut loose.

Even when it benefits me as a follower and fan of the Cavs, I find myself shaking my head.

  • 216 in 614

    I wish he would have decided Cavs didn’t need to trade Wiggins to get him.

  • architrance

    I’ll agree, the rules of the modern day are an absolute mess. But I don’t take too big of an issue with his phrasing. He ‘decided’ he didn’t want to stay in Minnesota long term and he ‘decided’ to ask for a trade to the Cavs. Without Lebron convincing him to play here & committing (hopefully!) long term (at least verbally right now) the Cavs would never have made this trade. His ‘deciding’ to be all in for the Cavs actually did play a big role in this trade going down.

  • It’s no different than when Barkley wanted out of Philly 22 years ago. The TWolves have been awful and made awful decisions. He should want out, just as many players have wanted out of bad situations for decades.

    What put a negative light on this type of thing in recent years was LeBron’s needing out of a “bad situation” wherein his team had won 62 and 66 games his final two seasons. And then Melo wanting out of a “bad situation” in Denver wherein he made the Playoffs pretty much every year.

    Love’s desire to leave isn’t quite the same as those and I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with it.

  • BenRM

    They got Wiggins, who is probably 1 of the top 3 prospects in the last 10 years (Dwight and Davis are probably better b/c OMG BIG MEN). I really don’t feel bad for them.

  • It’s not THAT bad!

    Huh?

    This seems a tad forced. The guy had a year on his contract left, made his current team aware of his plans to leave when he fulfilled said contract, and made potential suitors aware of his preference of destinations as to where he’d be most likely to re-sign long term. If you have issue with this, and you have issue with Lebron remaining silent and evasive up until his free agency then making his decision…. it kinda sounds like you just want to pick a fight OR you are opposed to the idea of players having the power to choose where they work. Don’t ever get too deeply into the European Soccer is all I have to say.

    This isn’t to say I’m 100% pro-super-teams as a fan who has lost a player to one. Players teaming up and taking less money seems to be a thing of the past, however, as they realized it was a horrible financial decision for their union long-term – so that’s a plus. The cavs have 3 max-level players. They drafted one. They cleared cap room and signed one. They traded some very valuable assets for one. It doesn’t work if a million things don’t fall into place, but it also wasn’t corrupt (unless Dan Gilbert has some crazy blackmail over the league that got him those #1s).

    But I gotta say Kevin Love’s departure from Minnesota was muuuuuuch more beneficial to the team that drafted him. No, from a high level, he didn’t have a legal “choice” because he wasn’t a free agent, but he did have negotiable leverage. And he used it to both benefit himself and, ultimately, the team he was leaving (by giving them advanced notice so they could plan accordingly).

  • howitworks

    This is hilarious. You have a problem with how the NBA works. This IS how it works. This is how it worked when LeBron went to Miami. The star players basically say where they want to play. It was his decision and I’m glad he made it Cleveland. I’m quite shocked you have been following the NBA for a long time and don’t know this. Maybe you just needed something to write about.

  • I know it. I don’t like it when it works against my team. Should I love it when it does? That would be hypocritical.

  • Hopwin

    This is exactly why I don’t follow basketball at all.

  • Harv 21

    NBA stars are now all keenly aware of their leverage. As 216 says, I wish he would have beat the Cavs drum so loudly that all teams would have been scared off and the Cavs refused to offer Wiggins. Listening to a few Griffin interviews, sounds like the FO just didn’t have the nerve to play chicken with Flip Saunders and live with the possibility, even remote, that Love never came here and they blew a rare opportunity.

    What offended me more was Love’s statement that he let his agent tell the Wolves he would not re-sign with them. The owner may be a tool, maybe he offended you by underestimating you last contract, but this is the team that drafted you, supported you and paid you tens of millions. Don’t send your flunky to do that alone. (Yes, I’m old and cranky and getting sick of man-children).

  • architrance

    Is it really hypocritical? We are fans of a specific team so we get extra bitter when something hurts that team and extra excited when something benefits them. Like it or not, this is how the league operates.

  • architrance

    I feel your sentiment, but I think this just shows how badly that relationship had deteriorated. He couldn’t even remember when that happened or any details. Obviously not a great situation there, I don’t blame him for wanting out.

  • matt underwood

    i do – ill be a hypocrite all day long. honestly thought i would never root fro the cavs again if lebron came back but im the schmuck that 30 seconds after he announced, im right back on the train.

  • It’s not THAT bad!

    But what don’t you love about it? The fact that players have leverage even before their contract is up? The fact that, ultimately at some point, a player doesn’t have to play for a team he doesn’t want to play for? The fact that a player can choose where he works (and 90% of the time that place isn’t a small market for obvious reasons)? I get that he’s a millionaire, but his brand also makes millions for the billionaires who have a contract with him. I guess I don’t even really understand what your really complaining about.

    Yes, the fans have to stand idly by as they have no real say in the matter, but I don’t really know how that has changed with the advent of player’s having their freedom.

  • h8tr

  • scripty

    It’s called business not fairness

  • mgbode

    Kevin Love shouldn’t have had the opportunity to say “I’m in.”

    the NBA is controlled by the players*. end.of.story.

    That is why RGB, myself, and others knew we didn’t have to trade Wiggins if we didn’t want to. It was Love’s decision. GS wasn’t giving up assets if Love told them he was coming here next July. Neither was Chicago or Phoenix.

    You don’t have to like it (I don’t), but it is how the league works.

    * Honestly, it is nice for Minnesota that we didn’t screw them over and they ended up with a couple nice players. I truly hope that they pan out for them and make them a fun team to watch.

  • mgbode

    Dwight and Davis for sure. I may even put Kyrie above him as well. The only question on Kyrie was his foot injury otherwise he excelled in his limited time in college much more than Wiggins and the hype on his actual play went up (where Wiggins got overshadowed by someone on his own team though Embiid’s injury ended up de-railing his hype).

  • mgbode

    Yes, it is hypocritical. Not saying that isn’t how you should feel though as we are all hypocritical in some aspects of life if you look close enough.

  • RGB

    …grumble, grumble…

  • Natedawg86

    I agree with you. Had he said he didn’t want to play in CLE, we would not have traded for him.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

  • JNeids

    Be a man like Rory McIlroy and call her up and tell her it’s over!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Craig for all you know Love and/or his representatives let it be known to Minnesota that the only team he’d resign with would be Cleveland thereby making any trade his decision.

    As far as parsing a couple sentences in a press conference this is the OIC (Only In Cleveland) syndrome I have repeatedly spoken about. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the “wait until Kyrie gets hurt” or “Love is injury prone” discussions to start next.

  • BenRM

    I think Wiggins was more overshadowed by his own hype than much else. [Although I’d put Embiid in the OMG BIG MEN category – Oden can fit there too.]

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Is your last name Self, Ben Self?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Uh yea you had to trade Wiggins and this was Love’s decision? Again, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

  • BenRM

    I mean prospect quite literally here.

    It’s hard to look at KD and not be like “well, obviously KD is awesome. How can you say Wiggins is a Top 3 prospect in the last 10 years. Wiggins is no KD.” But KD didn’t even go first in his own draft.

    Wall may have also been the top recruit in his class as well, but I don’t believe any one other than Davis, Oden, and Dwight were.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Wiggins and Durant don’t belong in the same sentence if you ask me regardless of where each was selected.

    I know I’m out numbered around here when it comes to Wiggins but you guys gotta let it go. I preferred Parker over him I think in the end they will have pretty similar careers but I just don’t see Wiggins becoming the kind of player I see said quite a bit around here. The kid has a chance to be something special but lets not kid ourselves he has a ton of work/growing/maturing to do. It will be interesting to see how he develops. Personally that’s just a side note for me I’m much more interested in seeing what the Cavaliers do now and the next few years while Wiggins is working/growing/maturing.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • BenRM

    YOU ARE THE ONE WHO HAS TO LET IT GO!

    And that’s exactly my point about KD. It’s hard to separate what we know now from what we knew then. And then, he was almost universally seen as a clear second to Oden; a sweet touch but a little under athletic. In hindsight, both of those things were quite wrong.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m not the one talking about how great a guy is who doesn’t even play for the Cavaliers anymore. And what’s with the caps, you mad, are you angry?

    I don’t know what universe you were in but KD wasn’t a “clear” second to Oden in mine. It’s a shame Oden broke down but didn’t he have issues with health while at Ohio State? Durant was a freak at Texas he has just taken it to a whole new level in the NBA. Thank God the Cavaliers didn’t have a #1 in that draft!

  • BenRM

    sarcasm font, not angry font.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I was gonna say Ben not so gentle today!

  • howitworks

    I know we all hate how it works when it goes against us, which it usually does. So I guess we should just enjoy it now that it is working for us.

  • mgbode

    The moment Love leaks it to the press that he will only re-sign with the Cavs, Minnesota loses any and all leverage other than LeBron maybe wanting him before the season begins.

    Moot point now because he didn’t want to be villainized, which is his choice too.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    His reps could have told Flip Saunders who in turn could have told possible suitors of Love’s desire to be traded to the Cavaliers. Might help explain why so many suitors fell by the way side.

  • mgbode

    What happened is obvious. Kevin Love is a UCLA Bruin. Andrew Wiggins is a Kansas Jayhawk. As the two most decorated college programs in the country, they obviously ran into issues with each other and could not overcome them to play on the same court.

    What about Kyrie from Duke? Kevin Love thinks it’s cute and funny that Kyrie would even bring up the Blue Devils past 25 years as if they could compare to the 100 years of Bruins basketball dominance.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Have u been smokin’?

  • mgbode

    My A sample hasn’t triggered a B sample test yet, so I think I’m good.

  • mrdot

    Minnesota got a nice haul of promising young talent out of the deal (I’m still not entirely convinced trading Wiggins was worth it), so I’m not going to wring my hands until they bleed over this one.

  • Harv 21

    I get it. Just that of all things a young adult should learn, it’s to walk right up to your employer and thank him/her when you leave. Even if under bad, unwanted circumstances. Unless litigation is pending. Maybe under these circumstances, certainly under LeBron’s 5 years ago, would have rubbed a lot of salve on the local butt hurt.

  • pihc

    Relax dude. Collusion in the NBA sense would be if the NBA or in your case, you, could prove that Cleveland talked to Love prior to the date in which FO can talk to FA. Also, in this situation, since Love was still a player for Minny, the Cavs asked for and got permission from Minny to talk to him.

    I bet the writer still has mommy put band aides on him when he has a boo boo.

  • George G

    Not sure what all that school talk was about but ….
    Yes, Kevin Love made the decision that he wanted to be traded to the Cavs. I personally believe that the reason we had to give up Wigs and Bennett was that Lebron and the FO wanted Love for this season.
    We could have waited until he was a UFA, but the the possibility of having him for this season was much more of the interest of LeBron and the FO.

  • mgbode

    the above was apparently a poor attempt at a joke 🙂