Kevin Love knows change could be coming.
A couple of years ago, uncertainty might have been something that stressed him out, triggered the sorts of feelings like the ones that manifested themselves in the form of an in-game panic attack in 2017, rendered him unable to compete as efficiently as he wanted.
Not this time.
Even though he has three full years and about $90 million left on his contract after this season, it’s no secret that Love could be traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Plenty of teams even make sense for such a move – Portland, Dallas, Denver, Miami among others.
But going public with the details of his panic attack – and his ongoing involvement in the conversation about the need to take care of mental health – has not left Love feeling vulnerable. He’s more at peace than anything else, and that’s why the rumors that are out there aren’t gnawing at him.
”I’m just going to let the chips fall,” Love said. ”I know that this is a young team. I think I can help them. I’m going to do right by Cleveland, the organization. This is a league where teams want to rebuild, teams want to go young but certain teams are looking for a piece, a guy who’s played in the Finals, a guy who has playoff experience. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think it definitely lessens the burden and the anxiety.”
Cleveland is 5-12 and Love missed Monday’s game against Brooklyn with back issues. Now in his 11th season, the five-time All-Star can still play – he’s averaging 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds, is a 36% shooter from 3-point range and won a ring with the Cavs in 2016.
Even with him, the Cavs are likely a long shot for a playoff spot in the East. But Love insists that he isn’t forcing a change.
”I’ve been committed to Cleveland since Day 1,” Love said. ”I know it’s been a little shaky at some points. It’s been really great at some points. But now I’ve found some semblance of balance in my life, not only on the court but away from it.”
Love also doesn’t shy away from the mental health questions.
Players like Love and DeMar DeRozan helped bring the conversation into the NBA mainstream by opening up about their own private and personal issues.
”I kind of played all my cards and spoke my truth,” Love said. ”I just feel like there’s not a lot out there that could really hurt me. I feel like, not only for other people but selfishly for myself, it’s been very therapeutic.”