Kevin Love’s comments, response of other Cavs show how getting back on floor is therapeutic

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love (left) and Cleveland wing Cedi Osman talk in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love (left) and Cleveland wing Cedi Osman talk in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Kevin Love and a few other players on the Cleveland Cavaliers took part in voluntary workouts on Friday, and Love and Larry Nance Jr.’s comments further show how just being on the court is therapeutic.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers reopened their team facilities for players to have individual workouts with go-ahead from the NBA for teams to do so on Friday.

As ESPN’s Dave McMenamin pointed out from the league, workouts are allowed for teams “so long as the team’s local government had loosened its shelter-at-home guidelines and the team was following protocol.”

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As McMenamin also noted, workouts are limited to having just four players for teams at once, with all needing to be have “12 feet between one another.”

Even with these individual workouts not nearly being close to a full capacity practice for teams like the Cavs, as assistant coaches (head coaches aren’t reportedly permitted to participate in these) need to be “wearing a mask and gloves,” as was h/t McMenamin, it’s still apparent hearing from players such as Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. when asked that just getting back on the floor in some capacity is therapeutic.

The 2019-20 season has been on a novel coronavirus-induced hiatus since mid-March, and it is uncertain at this point whether or not we’ll see the Cleveland Cavaliers and/or potentially other teams return to game action this season.

That being said, it’s at least nice that some players again are able to get some individual work in. That’s even on a limited basis.

As far as how it was in that initial workout back at the Cavs’ practice facility, here was a bit that jumped out to me from Love, who noted how different this was from typical scenarios, as transcribed by McMenamin.

"“It’s just going to change the way — at least for the foreseeable future — of not only how we interact but how we live in our daily lives. So for me, was it weird? Yeah,” Love said. “I had [Cavs assistant coach] Dan Geriot at my basket and having him rebound and pass me the ball with a mask and gloves on. It’s just odd. It’s just weird.”"

Love would then touch on more protocols related to safety measures, but the other key thing that resonated with me from this update from McMenamin when it comes to Love’s response was just how being in the gym was seemingly refreshing for him.

"“I feel like anybody who needs an escape or in everyday life is looking for any type of normalcy back doing something they love,” he said. “For me, I played 25-ish years of organized basketball, and this is the longest I’ve ever gone without touching [a basketball]. And it’s something I really, really enjoy doing.“So for me, it definitely was a big dopamine hit, and it just felt great to get in there and sweat outside of doing my workouts at home or getting on a treadmill. Going out there and having some sense of normalcy and getting on the court and actually shooting was pretty uplifting.”"

For Love and the three other players that participated in that workout in Nance, Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic, I’m sure it was just nice to get out on the court, even in this sort of reduced practice setting, and get back in a bit of a groove.

Getting those shots up at the team facility was I’m sure therapeutic, at least to an extent, even with other players/the full team not being able to take part.

Nance, who previously discussed with The Athletic‘s Kelsey Russo (subscription required) how him having Crohn’s Disease makes him more at-risk to contract COVID-19, seemed really pumped to have been able to get back on the court, and I’d hope just if the Cavs and he take proper precautions, that Nance should be fine to keep going to workouts three or so times per week.

Here was again, what Nance, who is on track for a career-high with 10.1 points per game thus far this season and also has had a career-best 35.2 percent three-point hit rate, per Basketball Reference, said about the workout on Friday to the New York Times‘ Marc Stein.

"“It was wonderful,” said Cleveland’s Larry Nance Jr., who spent roughly 90 minutes lifting weights and shooting while his teammates Kevin Love, Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic each worked at separate baskets.“It was more for mental health than physical, to be honest with you,” Nance said in a telephone interview.”"

Stein also touched on how following a conference call with players and executive director of the NBPA, Michele Roberts, that what is included as far as “revelations” for NBA commissioner Adam Silver, per “two people on the call who were not authorized to discuss the details publicly, was a willingness to go beyond June 1 before deciding the fate of the 2019-20 season and his contention that the best chance of completing the season with a representative postseason would most likely require playing in just one or two centralized locations.”

While we are again unsure what will happen in terms of a potential season resumption, it is clear that for these players such as Love, Nance and Osman, that just getting back out there on the floor is therapeutic for them.

Osman, who has proven to be an improved floor spacer and has hit 38.3 percent of his three-point attempts thus far in 2019-20, was also shown sporting one of his trademark smiles via his Instagram (and h/t the Cavs), too, further demonstrating that.

A Cavs' trio that could potentially have considerable impact next season. dark. Next

Even though it’s far from getting back to game action or anything, these workouts and getting shots up for Love and others was seemingly a breath of fresh air and I’m sure rewarding for them.