Cavs’ Kevin Love wins ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and rightfully so

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

It was recently announced on Wednesday that Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love has won ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his efforts in spreading the awareness of the importance of mental health.

It’s become abundantly clear that Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love is going to do all he can to help others.

Back in March of 2018, Love penned an essay in The Players’ Tribune with the title “Everyone is Going Through Something,” and that revealed that he has mental health problems, namely anxiety and panic attacks.

It is evident, though, that since, Love has done an incredible job of spreading awareness involving the importance of mental health, and his efforts with his fund in aiding others/helping change the stigma have demonstrated just that.

Love has consistently used his platform to open himself up to others and shed light on tough issues that affect so many, and that’s been so admirable of him.

For his continued efforts, it was announced on Wednesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers big will be the recipient of ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award and be given that at the ESPY Awards on Sunday.

For Love’s efforts, especially in relation to youth, he’ll be the recipient of ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award given out on Sunday at the ESPY Awards at 9 PM ET on ESPN, via USA TODAY’s Jeff Zillgitt. Zillgitt would highlight how this award named after legendary tennis player Arthur Ashe “is given each year to a person whose contributions transcend sports.”

Fittingly, Love would emphasize how the award is such a huge honor, and how he’s so thankful for being named the recipient, as was transcribed by Zillgitt.

"“I’m incredibly humbled by it,” Love said. “It’s really a profound honor if you look back at that group of men and women who I admire. Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, to name a few. It’s very, very humbling to see my name next to those. I just feel like I have so much work to do. Those are people who put in a lifetime of work. With my name next to theirs, I have an obligation and opportunity to make a lot of change in the world of mental health.“I know what Arthur Ashe stood for and what he was about, especially being around UCLA. It’s just tough for me even now to put into words what this means because it’s so much bigger than the realm of sports.”"

As a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, this sort of thing is tremendous to hear regarding one of the team’s best players. Love truly seems to be one of the good guys in the NBA, and it’s apparent that he is always going to do his best to make quite a difference in his community/all over.

Furthermore, Zillgitt would then mention what ESPN’s vice president and “editor-at-large of ESPN content” Rob King, who “oversees the ESPYs,” would go on to say in relation to Love receiving this distinction.

"“His story has been truly inspiring since he wrote the piece for The Players’ Tribune and then sat with Jackie MacMullan of ESPN to talk about all he was contending with,” King said. “When we started thinking about what the world is going through and our nation is going through – the degree to which his ability to continue to reach out during the pandemic to audiences and help people – we just thought this was the perfect time to recognize how important speaking his truth and then making it easier for others has become.“He has not only just talked about mental well-being, he’s really helped folks understand that some of the stereotypical, rub-some-dirt-on-it stuff that athletes, males athletes in particular, are charged with is unnecessary and unhealthy. We thought that this was perfectly in keeping with the tradition of all of the fantastic people who have previously received this honor.”"

Those kind words from King really hit the nail on the head when it comes to Love’s efforts in helping change the conversation in relation to mental health issues, and ones when it comes to athletes/male athletes.

Truly, I applaud Love for how much he’s taken to truly aiding so many, and seemingly even more so, young people.

More from King James Gospel

Along with that, it was amazing to hear how Love, back near the beginning of the time of the NBA’s season suspension due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, donated $100,000 to help compensate Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse employees/game event staff affected by what would ultimately turn out to be game cancellations.

Love also recently announced that through his fund, he’ll be donating $100,000 to both the Obama Foundation and the Chris Paul Family Foundation to aid black youth, in response to doing his part to combat systemic racism.

During what has been such a difficult time these past few months, it’s been a real pleasure to know that Love is doing his part in helping others in such a significant way off the floor. This honor Love is set to receive at the ESPYs this weekend is something he’s more than deserving of.

On the floor in 2019-20, which is now in the books for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Love, though it was anything but a status quo campaign in relation to the team dynamic earlier on, was silently rock solid. He had 17.6 points per game on a near-career-best 59.9 percent true shooting rate, per Basketball Reference, to go with 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per outing.

Love did also seem to be a model teammate from early January on, and in 2020-21 with J.B. Bickerstaff as the Cavs head coach, Love should be ready to roll, and be more in-tune with teammates such as Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr.

Once again, however, it’s been outstanding to really feel Love’s presence in a big way outside of basketball. He was nominated as a finalist for ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, too, which has to do with making areas around him better/making quite a positive impact off the floor.

Next. Kevin Love and Kevin Porter Jr. are a key Cavs duo to watch in 2020-21. dark

Congrats to you, K-Love/the Kevin Love Fund, and keep doing your part to help spread the importance of mental health awareness! That is so much bigger than basketball, and is so far-reaching to so many.