LeBron James reportedly frustrated with Kevin Love’s unwillingness to fit in
The belief that the relationship between Kevin Love and LeBron James is shaky at best was mostly corroborated by Love admitting earlier this week that he and James are “not best friends.” According to a recent report from the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola, the perception that a rift exists between Love and James behind the scenes may in fact be reality.
Isola reports that sources close to the situation indicate that James is becoming increasingly frustrated with Love due to the forward’s “inability, and in some ways unwillingness, to get with the program.”
Given that Love has struggled in a reduced role with the Cavaliers after being the alpha dog with the Minnesota Timberwolves has given rise to speculation that he will opt out of his contract this summer and become an unrestricted free agent, which doesn’t necessarily mean he wouldn’t re-up with the Cavs.
Love alternatively could exercise his player option for the 2015-16 season for $16.7 million and then presumably sign a max-type deal with the Cavaliers. And yet, Cavs head coach David Blatt seemingly slighted his player by indicating Love isn’t a max player “yet,” something he later attempted to clarify.
Love in January indicated that he likely would exercise his player option for next season.
“I think that we will figure it out here, so I don’t plan on opting out or any of that,” Love said. “I plan on being here. As far as leaving my options open, I mean sure, it’s always there. At the end of the day, it’s always good to have something but no, I plan on being here.
“I’ve said all along that I plan on being a Cavalier long-term.”
Love caused waves this week by seemingly slighting James by indicating he would tab former UCLA teammate and current Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook as MVP over his own teammate, an aside James mostly blew off when asked to comment on it.
Isola’s report also notes that Love was viewed as an aloof player during his tenure with the T’Wolves and alienated teammates in the process. It appears, if the reports are accurate, he may be doing the same in Cleveland.
Between the somewhat tangible friction between the two and James’ veiled potshots at Love on social media, it’s beginning to look more and more like this experiment will prove to be a failure long-term, even if the Cavaliers reap some benefits from it this season.
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