LeBron James on Kevin Love’s MVP slight: ‘I don’t really think too much of it’
The seemingly tenuous relationship between LeBron James and Kevin Love took another awkward turn when Love said he would tab former UCLA teammate Russell Westbrook as MVP over his current Cleveland Cavaliers teammate.
James on Tuesday commented on Love’s perceived slight during an interview Monday on “The Dan Patrick Show,” but attempted to downplay any budding controversy while doing so.
“I don’t really think too much of it, really,” James said after Tuesday’s team practice, via ESPN. “I don’t really get involved in that. I think the voters are going to decide who is the MVP. I think what Russ has been doing, his numbers have been pretty crazy keeping those guys afloat in the West in his play. Steph Curry can make a case, for sure, what he’s been doing — James Harden and myself, as well. So, Kevin has his own opinion of who he believes is the MVP. No one should fault him for that.”
Love’s reasons for opting to pick Westbrook over his Cavs teammate primarily was based upon how the Thunder star puts his team on his back night after night as it battles for a playoff spot while James sat out a few weeks earlier in the season.
“I think Russ is arguably having the better season,” Love concluded.
When asked to expand upon his thoughts Tuesday, Love expressed surprise that his off-the-cuff remarks are attracting so much attention, reportedly remarking that the only way his comments could be considered controversial is if they were taken out of context.
This of course all comes on the heels of Love indicating earlier this week that his relationship with James is “evolving” and that the two are “not best friends.” And Love’s candid comments about the lack of a friendship with his teammate follows him saying in February that he was “caught of guard” by a tweet in which James seemed to call him out.
The relationship between Love and James appears to not have been built on the most solid foundation, but there have been countless examples of teammates, while not being tight off the court, setting that aside and being incredibly effective on it. The run of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal with the Lakers certainly establishes that eventuality as possible.
(photo credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)