Could Cleveland Cavaliers prove their worth had Kyrie Irving and LeBron James not left the franchise in ’17 and ’18? Was their another championship to their name if the team didn’t dissolve in such a manner? Well, fans wanted to see more of them in Cavs but so did their teammate, Kevin Love.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving went through a small rift back in 2017 when the latter left Cavaliers to join Celtics. The main issue being, Irving didn’t want to be shadowed by LeBron and so he requested Cavs to trade him. Later when Irving apologized to James, he told media, “I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader,” he added, “I wanted to be all that.” Irving went on to join Kevin Durant in Brooklyn Nets this season.
Moreover, a year later, LeBron also shifted to Lakers in his free agency period. This was the ‘fallout’ for Cavaliers and the consequences led to them desperately wanting Kevin to stay. Kevin signed a 4-year extension deal with Cavaliers for $120 million.
The star-studded lineup of Cleveland Cavaliers led to a championship win in 2016. They made four consecutive finals appearances from 2015-18 but each time lost to Golden State Warriors except once.
Recently, Love shared with Jason Lloyd of ‘The Athletic’ how he would have ‘loved’ to see LeBron and Kyrie for one more run at the championship. “To even have just one more run at it, to see what we were capable of. Just one more run. I would’ve really loved to see that. I think we would’ve been primed for another really big run. Even if it was, for both of them, their last year in Cleveland. It would’ve been nice to see what we were capable of.”
Surely James and Irving did quite their bit in taking the team forward. Their accolades built a new era for the Cavaliers and once they left, it just fragmented into a weak team. Kevin Love seems quite disturbed with that as well. “Take away any of the off-the-court stuff—it’s easy to say that—but on the court, they were devastating together. Playing downhill like that, when they were on, outside of the Warriors, we didn’t believe that anybody could play with us. With how we spread the floor, with how Bron was so powerful and dominant. Kyrie as well. He was a magician with the basketball and playing in the open court. Hitting 3s and shooters all around them. It’s tough to bring in so many new players and not know what that’s going to look like.”
If the ‘fallout’ didn’t happen in the first place, who knows the next trophy would have been theirs. But the what-ifs are quite dominant in the long run. We’re yet to see if Lebron makes to another title with the Lakers if the season tends to resume in the coming months. But for now, Kevin Love definitely wanted another shot with the two greats!
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