Love of Portland: Cavs’ Kevin Love talks about potentially playing for Blazers

Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love defends on-ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love defends on-ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The inevitable Kevin Love exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers continues to gain steam. After a week of questions surrounding his effort, desire to continue his career as a Cavalier, and seemingly his relationship with teammates dominated the NBA news cycle, Love dumped gasoline on the fire by way of podcast.

The questions came after Love’s inexcusable batting of an in-bounds pass in Cleveland’s loss last week at the Toronto Raptors, which was a deflating display in what was at the time a close game through nearly three quarters.

In relation to the aforementioned podcast, as one of two players remaining from the 2016 Cavaliers championship team (Matthew Dellavedova is the other), Love gushed about The City of Roses as a guest on Chris Haynes’ podcast, “Posted up w/Chris Haynes” released earlier on Monday.

In that pod appearance, the Cavs big discussed the possibility of one day playing for his hometown squad; Love considers the Blazers that team for him.

Haynes is a popular NBA Insider working for Yahoo Sports. He has a familiarity with Love and the Cavs, having previously been one of the team’s beat writers.

When asked his view of (one day) playing at home (Love was raised in Oregon), Love responded with the following comments.

"“By the way, who wouldn’t want to play with (Trail Blazers star) Dame Lillard first of all?”. Love added: “I still love…I still claim Portland. People ask me where I’m from. I spent all my formative years (in Portland). I grew up in Portland.”"

The former UCLA Bruin continued from there.

"“Portland is always going to be a special place in my heart. Whether it be at the end of my career, whether it be in six months, whenever it may be…if I was wearing a Portland jersey…I mean, that’s special. That’s playing at home.”"

Averaging 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds this season, in what has been one where he’s been active in only 21 games due to right calf injury complications, Love continued his praise of the city and the team on the pod appearance with Haynes.

"“Obviously (Portland’s) a special place. I love CJ (McCollum), Melo (Carmello Anthony) has done an incredible job stepping in there. (coach) Terry Stotts….Portland has always had something special. And I’m happy that (the Trailblazers) have had successes this year, even without their fans (Portland has not allowed fans in the arena this season)……(Under normal circumstances) Their fans come out. They’ve got to be some of the top fans in the league. Rip City’s always been special. We used to go to the Memorial Coliseum growing up. The whole Rose Court. My first concert was there. I kissed my first girlfriend there. Portland’s a special place for me…If I play there (as a member of the Blazers) or not, (Portland’s) going to be a place that I represent no matter what.”."

It’s tough to knock Love for thinking glowingly of his hometown team. Plenty of professional athletes long for that chance. Not to mention, this Cavaliers season has been another tough one.

Granted, Love’s lack of availability hasn’t helped the cause for the Wine and Gold. And considering his contract and injury history, we’ll have to see what could end up playing out involving a Love departure at some point, perhaps this upcoming offseason. That wouldn’t likely be the simplest move.

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On a positive note for Cleveland’s current season, however, Darius Garland and Collin Sexton have largely impressed, and look to be a promising young backcourt that Cleveland can hopefully keep adding pieces around moving forward.