Cavs’ Kevin Love, Collin Sexton seem to have such a special bond now

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (left) and Cleveland big Kevin Love talk in-game. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (left) and Cleveland big Kevin Love talk in-game. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love and Cleveland guard Collin Sexton seem to have such a special bond now.

Heading into the 2020-21 campaign for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the squad seemingly should be set to see an improvement in their play, and they seem close.

No, the Cavs, whose current season is over with them not set to be participants in the NBA’s season resumption in Orlando, did not have a stellar overall 2019-20. They ended out with a 19-46 record, which would end out as the league’s second-worst this season.

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On the plus side, Cleveland was playing better post-All-Star break leading into the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus, and were a more respectable 5-6 in that span. The squad seemed re-energized when J.B. Bickerstaff took the head coaching reigns, too, and that was nice to see.

With next season in mind, even though that is reportedly set to start in December, it’s clear that heading into Year 3 of his tenure with the Cavaliers, Collin Sexton is one of the team’s best players.

He is arguably the best player on the Cavs, and fully established himself as the team’s primary option next season, as he had 20.8 points per game, while improving as a finisher in the paint and also hit 38.0 percent of his three-point attempts.

Clearly, we what the Cavs are going to be getting night-in and night-out from Sexton in that way, and the Young Bull is yet to miss a game in his first two NBA seasons.

In terms of off the floor/his relationship with teammates, though, going into his third year, it’s evident that Sexton and other Cavs players seem as close as ever.

That seems to especially be the case with the bond between Sexton and Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love, too.

Both Sexton, who is as competitive and hard working as it gets, and Kevin Love, one of the Cavs’ key vets and best inside-out big, expressed their disappointment in the 2019-20 season being done for them in a Zoom call with the media on Friday.

Both touched on how the squad not having competitive games until potentially December would be really tough for the Cavaliers, and Love himself said, as transcribed by 92.3 The Fan’s Daryl Ruiter, that layoff “is not conducive to getting better.”

With that in mind, a number of non-Orlando teams have reportedly been trying to push the NBA to allow them to have a mini Summer League-type scenario before next season and/or with joint practices. That’d help young players/team chemistry some I believe as well, but we’ll see regarding that, given COVID-19 concerns.

Nonetheless, what really jumped out to me from that conversation regarding that Zoom call featuring Love then Sexton with media was that when Sexton actually was a bit early tuning in, his exchange with Love showed how they seem to have an ever-growing bond, even if that’s meant virtually for the past few months.

Here was that exchange, via Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders, and ESPN Cleveland’s Emmett Golden’s comment on that said it all to me.

Just seeing that brief bit with Love and Sexton, their bond as teammates, with Sexton heading into his third season, has grown to be palpable.

Love did seem to show frustration throughout last season in playing alongside Cleveland’s young pieces, and there was some reported turbulence there/the team’s direction last season, but Love since, really, was a model teammate. His body language with his teammates, and seemingly even more so showing his appreciation for Sexton in-game continued to jump out to me.

Granted, in a recent conversation The Athletic‘s Kelsey Russo had with former NBA executive John Hollinger recently (subscription required), Russo noted how Hollinger hit on how Love has shown he doesn’t like playing with Sexton at all, essentially, given Sexton’s limited playmaking track record. 

Honestly, though, with Sexton leaning into his role as a 2 guard often with Darius Garland operating as a lead playmaker, I don’t read into that much. Plus, Sexton did show growth with his passing willingness/ability to drive-and-kick more as the season progressed. That also led to more deliveries to Love, for example, along with Garland, Cedi Osman, Kevin Porter Jr. and others.

Ruiter also highlighted how much Love respects Sexton as a teammate because of his tireless work ethic leading to him becoming a better player.

"“He’s such a competitor it’s infectious to be around,” Love said. “Never have I seen somebody work so hard in this league to get better.”"

That brief bit between Love and Sexton Davies tweeted out from that media Zoom call, and Golden’s/Ruiter’s comments regarding Love being such a fan of Sexton further stresses to me how the bond between Love and Sexton has grown into a really special one.

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Looking forward, hopefully we see the two-man game between those two get better and better.