Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love has reached out to Boston Celtics reserve big man Kelly Olynyk in an effort to put behind them a controversial shoulder-grabbing play that prematurely ended Love's NBA playoff baptism. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, Love -- a 26-year-old three-time All-Star -- shared some details on how he has moved on from the unfortunate incident.
''I initially was very emotional about the play,'' Love told reporter Tom Withers. ''I think everybody thinks, 'Oh, he's going to be able to come back, pop it right in,' but at the time when it happened, I kind of knew. And about a week went by, I reached out to Kelly, sent him a text and said, 'Hey, it's all good. It was a tough play.' And we just move on from there.''
The UCLA product also clarified some other controversial issues, such as how he handled the news of the season-ending injury, the way he found his niche in the Cavaliers offense and where he plans to play next season. Love laid all speculation to rest when he said he would wear a Cavaliers jersey next season.
Not earth-shattering, but important in terms of how Kevin Love is dealing with this process: "I still feel like I’m a big part of this.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 31, 2015
The Cavaliers are slated to commence their quest to bring home the 2015 NBA Finals championship when LeBron James and company travel to Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, to face the 67-win Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors beginning Thursday. The second-seeded Eastern Conference champions are coming into the game as slight underdogs due to the absence of Love and the assortment of injuries to All-Star starting point guard Kyrie Irving.
Incidentally, Love was repeatedly mentioned in trade rumors with Golden State during the summer of 2014 when the Warriors were in serious talks to acquire the versatile power forward in exchange for shooting guard Klay Thompson. The talks died down after coach Steve Kerr’s team chose not to break up the “Splash Brothers.” True to form, the shooting tandem of Thompson and league MVP Stephen Curry has a chance to bring home the NBA championship.
Watch how Love dislocated his shoulder when he fought for a rebounding position with Olynyk in the clip below: