Kevin Love Puts to Rest Rumors About Interest in LA Lakers

Kevin Love Puts to Rest Rumors About Interest in LA Lakers

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  • Kevin Love denied any rumors linking him to the L.A. Lakers.
  • Love is in his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • His teammate, LeBron James, is okay with the idea of getting fewer minutes.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love denied any rumors about being interested in joining the Los Angeles Lakers next season, per The Arkon Beacon Journal.

Kevin Love is not interested in joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

Love told The Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd (via on Nov. 14 any rumors about him joining the Lakers next season are not true at all:

“Kevin Love denied a report he’s interested in joining the Lakers next season while poking fun at the attention his handshake with Kyrie Irving has received.

“‘Whatever we were doing with our hands was about as true as me going to the Lakers,’ Love said Friday. ‘Going to the Lakers, I don’t know where someone got that.’

“A recent report suggested Love will seriously consider opting out of his contract at the end of the season and join the Los Angeles Lakers. Love, like LeBron James, can essentially be a free agent after this season and next.

“The handshake grabbed so much attention because it appeared Love and Irving were pretending to smoke a joint at the end, when actually they were twisting their mustaches. Love conceded after watching the video it looked worse than it actually is.

“‘I don’t know why it was so hard for people to realize we were actually curling our mustache. I guess because I had my fingers in the wrong place,’ he said. ‘But looking at the tape, film don’t lie. It does look like we’re doing something bad, but that’s not the case.'”

In another team development, Cavaliers forward LeBron James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on Nov. 19 he “wouldn’t mind” getting reduced playing time so other players can shine:

“We could be seeing less of LeBron James moving forward.

“James topped the 40-minute plateau in seven of the Cavaliers’ first nine games, with his 39.1 minutes per game average ranking third in the NBA behind Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson (41.4) and Chicago’s Jimmy Butler (40.3). 

“He said after practice Tuesday that it might be time for him to cut down on that playing time.

“‘I wouldn’t mind it,’ James said. ‘I think we have to give our guys on the bench more of an opportunity. I looked at a stat and myself, Kyrie and Kevin and three of the top five guys in the league in minutes per game and that has to come down.’

“Indeed, Irving (38.4 minutes per game) and Love (37.0) rank fourth and fifth behind James.

“‘For me, I don’t want to do that all year,’ James said. ‘Obviously right now it’s difficult because we’re trying to find a groove, we’re trying to find a rhythm and we’re trying to implement something that you don’t want to shortcut it, but at the same time you want to be smart about it. So I don’t mind giving a few of my minutes up just to help the team, to help my minutes go down. I think it would be for the best.’

“Part of the reason that James has been logging so many minutes is Shawn Marion, brought in this summer in part to play backup small forward behind James, has been moved to the starting lineup in order to shore up the Cavs’ struggling defense.

“All of the playing time for the Cavs’ Big Three has paid off in in their scoring averages — James is second in the league at 27.1 points per game, Irving is 11th at 22.1 and Love is 37th at 17.4 — but it’s hurt the development of the team’s second unit. Cleveland averages just 23.9 bench points per game, putting them 29th — or second to last — in the league. 

“During the preseason, Cavs coach David Blatt said that ’39 minutes is a lot’ when considering James’ 39.5 career average in minutes played.

“He went on to add, ‘We got to keep our wits about us in terms of thinking long term with LeBron.’ On another occasion during training camp Blatt admitted he ‘could’ sit James out a game or two during the regular season to allow for rest.

“Blatt revisited the idea of minute management Tuesday.

“‘I really think that it might be a good idea for our guys to play some shorter stretches harder rather than longer stretches,’ James said. ‘And we’re going to see how we can incorporate that philosophy.'” 

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