Remember those subtweets, stilted interviews, and posed Instagram pictures that had a lot of people wondering if there was a rift between LeBron James and Kevin Love last year? Well, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, there was indeed some fire behind all that smoke.
Jason Lloyd—citing conversations with Love, James, and others in the Cavaliers organization—reports that James and Love had trouble getting along at the start of last year, partly because Love came into the season out of shape:
Yet from almost the moment Love arrived, the relationship seemed to sour. James went to great lengths to get him here, and now team officials concede James didn’t treat him very well once he arrived.
In truth, James was frustrated in part because Love showed up out of shape. He didn’t work out much at all the summer he was traded here and he wasn’t the player James was expecting. His legs bothered him all season. His back was hurting. All of the parts were connected and none of them were firing properly.
James loves talent and he loves playing alongside elite players. Love’s physical condition prevented him from being the player James thought he was getting. As a result, James gravitated toward Kyrie Irving and Love never fit well into this system.
Their rapport seems to have improved this year, though. James publicly called Love the focal point of the Cavs offense at the start of the season, and Love is averaging a healthy 17 points and 11 rebounds per game. So everything’s cool now, you guys.
Wait. What’s this?
Sound the alarm! The beef is back on!