On Saturday night, Kevin Love returns to Minnesota as a Cleveland Cavalier when his side face the Timberwolves. And unlike the players who return with video tributes and standing ovations, Love is expecting the total opposite.
LOVE EXPECTS BOOS WHEN HE RETURNS TO MINNESOTA
“Truthfully? ‘Booooooooo!’ That (will be) probably more of that and then a mix of cheers,” Love said after Cavs shootaround Friday in preparation for their game against the Sacramento Kings. “It’s tough. I think of going back to Portland that first time when I did not choose to go to University of Oregon and went to UCLA, it was very mixed, more boos than cheers. Over the years, it slowly became more cheers than boos. But we’ll see. (Saturday) will be one of those times where they can tell me how they really feel.”
Love, who went to high school in Oregon, downplayed the game played in Eugene, Ore., the years softening the memories from his freshman year of the death threats that were left on his voicemail or the homophobic chants directed at him by Oregon’s student section ,which the Ducks’ athletic director later apologized for.
Despite the charged atmosphere, Love came up with 26 points and 18 rebounds in an 80-75 win for UCLA that day back in January 2008.
Love could sure use a game like that right now. Even though the Cavs have won eight games in a row, Love has been in a slump in his last seven games, averaging 13.9 points on just 30.9 percent shooting. It’s been even worse in his last two games, when he has averaged 8.5 points while shooting a combined 6-for-26 from the field (23.1 percent).
With those struggles, he’ll return to the place he played his first six seasons in the league.
“I’m sure once I get there it will be a little different feeling for me,” Love said. “Obviously playing on the visitor’s side, going into the visitor’s locker room, going to the different bench. But I haven’t really given it too much thought and luckily we’re on a winning streak right now so that’s really what’s first and foremost and most important is getting that win (against Sacramento). But, yeah, once the game is over tonight and we get there (Saturday) it will be a little different, not staying at my apartment in Minneapolis, we’ll be staying at a different hotel.”
#THERETURN VIDEOS OF THE CAVS PLAYER RETURNING
The Timberwolves are hyping the return though on social media. As they have made a video about the return. But watch the video in its entirety.
2015 ALL-STAR RESERVES … BUT NO LILLARD
Golden State’s Klay Thompson, OKC Thunder’s Kevin Durant and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving headlines the list of All-Star reserves and DeMarcus Cosuins replaces Kobe Bryant in the starting five, as chosen by Commissioner Adam Silver and West coach Steve Kerr.
Portland Trailblazers Damian Lillard is left out along with Houston Rockets Dwight Howard.
Chris Bosh, Jimmy Butler, Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Paul Milsap, Jeff Teague, Dwyane Wade
LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook