Chris Bosh on Kevin Love: Playing with LeBron James will be ‘extremely frustrating’
When Kevin Love made in unequivocally clear in several ways that in no uncertain terms did he intend to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves beyond the 2014-15 NBA season, the high-scoring forward set in motion a sequence of events that resulted in him landing with the Cleveland Cavaliers … and alongside LeBron James.
After being the alpha male of the Wolves’ pack on the offensive end of the floor throughout his six-year career with the team, Love may be in for a rude awakening when he settles into the second, possibly third option on the court when the Cavs run through their offensive sets.
Love acknowledges that it will take some time to adjust to the new parameters — and limitations — of his new role on his new team.
“I’d be lying to myself and lying to everybody here if I was telling you I didn’t have to sacrifice,” Love said, per Bleacher Report. “I think it’s going to have to be an effort throughout the entire team to do what’s best for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And we don’t know what that is really yet. But I’m going to do what’s best for this team to win, because at the end of the day that’s what we want, is to win.”
If there is one person who understands what Love is about to experience, it’s Chris Bosh, who went from top dog with the Toronto Raptors to the lesser cog in the Miami Heat’s “Big Three.”
In fact, Bosh says it may prove to be “extremely frustrating” for Love at times.
“Yeah, it’s a lot more difficult taking a step back, because you’re used to doing something a certain way and getting looks a certain way,” Bosh told Bleacher Report. “And then it’s like, well, no, for the benefit of the team, you have to get it here.
“So even if you do like the left block, the volume of the left block is going to be different. Now you have to make those moves count. So with me, it was like a chess game. I’m doing this move and thinking about the next move and trying to stay five moves ahead. You’re not getting it as much. If you got one or two a game, it’s a lot different.”
When it was suggested by BR’s Ethan Skolnick that it is akin to going from a buffet to a preplanned meal where one has no choice, Bosh agreed, while acknowledging that some sacrifice and unselfishness can reap enormous rewards.
“Exactly,” Bosh said. “You just get your entree and that’s it. It’s like, wait a minute, I need my appetizer and my dessert and my drink, what are you doing? And my bread basket. What is going on? I’m hungry! It’s a lot different. But if you can get through it, good things can happen. But it never gets easy. Even up until my last year of doing it, it never gets easier.”
When it was suggested to Bosh that it must be difficult to take such a step back and accept a reduced role, especially when folks are wondering why you aren’t as productive offensively as you once were, he agreed again.
“Exactly,” Bosh said. “‘You’ve got to do this! You’ve got to do that!’ So you’ve got to fight that. ‘Why don’t you do this? Well, you should do this!’ It’s like, man, they don’t need me to do that, I know what I’m doing. ‘Well, you should do this.’ And then eventually, on one of those days, all it takes is one time, well, maybe I should be doing this. It’s such a psychological battle.”
It’s a psychological battle Love may be ill-prepared — or at least under-prepared — to deal with in a manner that makes for a seamless transition.
In the 2013-14 season, Love, while averaging 26.1 point/game, took 1,422 field goal attempts along with 505 three-point shots. As a team, the Timberwolves had 7,175 field goal attempts and 1,757 three-point attempts, meaning Love took approximately 20% of the Wolves’ field goal attempts and a whopping 28% of the team’s three-point tries on the season while playing in 77 games.
With a Cavs roster stocked with some offensive talent — beginning and ending with LeBron James, of course — but also the dynamic Kyrie Irving, along with some other scoring threats, there’s virtually no chance Love will reach those kind of percentages when it comes to the proportion of chances he’ll get in the Cavaliers offense. He’ll have to accept that he will have to do more with less. Or at least try to produce as much with far less opportunities, and in all likelihood less gaudy scoring stats.
In other words, to borrow Bosh’s analogy, enjoy that entree, K-Love. And don’t even bother expecting a refill of that bread bowl, if you got one in the first place.