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Report: LeBron James frustrated with Kevin Love for not fitting in

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

Gregory Shamus/NBAE/Getty Images

Kevin Love has requested more inside touches, said he’s not a stretch four, said he’s not best friends with LeBron James and chosen Russell Westbrook, not LeBron, as his MVP this season.

Is Love just being honest?

Is he being too honest?

Is he going out of his way to cause trouble?

These are important questions for any contender when dealing with a potential player issue, but it’s especially important with Love, because he can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

LeBron reportedly has concerns.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Love is viewed by some as an aloof player who alienated teammates in Minnesota and is now doing the same in Cleveland.
several sources close to the situation in Cleveland claim that James has tried to make it work but that he’s frustrated by Love’s inability, and in some ways unwillingness, to get with the program.

Interestingly and potentially ironically, Isola’s report came out just before one of Love’s most cohesive games, Cleveland’s rout of the Grizzlies last night.

Are Love and the Cavaliers developing their relationship? Could this report reverse progress?

There are already plenty of cracks in the foundation.

LeBron “has tried to make it work” by publicly questioning Love’s confidence when Love says he’s fine and admitting a “fit-in” tweet was directed at Love (and then denying it, bringing even more attention to the issue). Plus, David Blatt made a point of saying Love is not a max player and then followed up with an illogical “explanation.” The coach has also repeatedly sat Love in fourth quarters.

It matters only so much which side is at fault, because Love has the power here.

He should opt out after the season, even if it’s just to re-sign with the Cavaliers. If he does, that’ll give other teams an opportunity to make pitches.

Love may or may not listen, but if he does, he’ll probably find teams offering a bigger role and less griping directed at him.

The best way for the Cavaliers to convince Love to stay is to win, and they’ve done a lot of that lately. They look poised to tear through the playoffs, too.

Of course, how deep they advance will depend on Love. Even in a reduce role, he’s an important cog.

Whichever direction this goes, these things have a way of snowballing. That’s why a report of LeBron being frustrated with Love should be one of the last things the Cavaliers wanted to see now.