Report: Several Cavs challenged Love over absences
NBA.com Global on Jan 23, 2018 01:13 PM
FILE - CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 17: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball against the LA Clippers on November 17, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
All is not well in Cleveland. This is not news, especially after the Cavaliers gave up a whopping 148 points in Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) loss to Oklahoma City. They are 4-10 over their last 14 games, tied for the third-worst mark in the league over that span.
The rough stretch has not only dropped Cleveland into a virtual tie for third place in the East, but also created tense questions in the locker room. Some have been dismissed, including the notion that coach Tyronn Lue might be on the hot seat.
Kevin Love, however, is reportedly not being so easily forgiven. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the team held an "emotional" meeting before Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) practice in which several Cavalier players challenged the legitimacy of the illness that forced Love to leave Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) game early, as well as miss Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) team practice.
The Cleveland Cavaliers held an emotional team meeting prior to Monday’s practice, where several players challenged the legitimacy of Kevin Love leaving OKC loss on Saturday ill and missing Sunday’s practice, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2018
Love played just over three minutes in the contest, going 0-for-2 from the field while failing to make any other statistical impact. The four-time All-Star told reporters after Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) practice that he felt dizzy during the game, but that he was now feeling better and was planning to play against San Antonio on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).
The Cavaliers were counting on Love to step up this season after trading point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston last summer to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and a first-round pick. Thomas has only recently resumed playing after recovering from a complicated hip injury. Love's production, however, has seen minimal improvement.
Wojnarowski added that there was some sense of closure after Love defended and explained himself on Monday (Tuesday, PHl time), but whether long-term peace had been achieved "remains to be seen."
In a locker room increasingly full of finger-pointing, Love defended himself and explained his side to teammates, coaches and management, sources said. At end of meeting, there was a sense with some that team had worked out some issues, but that ultimately remains to be seen.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2018