It feels like forever ago that Kevin Love’s future with the Cleveland Cavaliers was shrouded in a thick cloud of doubt.
Really, though, it was just last season.
And yet, it doesn’t feel like that because Love has found a groove with the Cavaliers, per the Akron Beacon Journal‘s Jason Lloyd:
What seems like a rather innocuous moment actually illustrates quite well Love’s comfort in Cleveland, in the locker room and in this system. No longer is he guarded with the media or even his teammates. No longer is he answering questions about his fit, addressing the silliness over his absence from group photos or participating in the passive-aggressive jabs back and forth with LeBron James over MVP candidates and fit in/fit out tweets. All of it has been washed away by championship champagne.
Love, however, is taking it in stride. It took a while, but he’s finally comfortable in his surroundings. He gave up apartment life and is a homeowner now. He loves his house and he has adjusted to Cleveland; his girlfriend even loves it here.
Winning heals all, and Love has a championship to his name after less than three years in Cleveland. It helps, too, that he’s averaging over 20 points per game for the first time since he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But this is all part of Love’s transition. It takes time to adjust to his role. He went from being an unrivaled superstar who was being fed the ball every night in Minnesota, to functioning as a complementary option alongside equals and superiors.
Just like it took Chris Bosh time to thrive in his role as a member of the Miami Heat’s Big Three, Love needed time to find himself beside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. These three finally understand each other reflexively. It’s no longer a tug-of-war. They know all of them won’t have it going every night, because they don’t need to. They know they are superstars on a time share.
And now that they’ve reached this point, to where playing next to and for one another is second nature, it’s tough to imagine any team that’s not the Cavaliers coming out of the Eastern Conference.