Kevin Love

Damon Stoudamire, Kevin Love and... who else makes up your Oregon prep all-stars?

Damon Stoudamire, Kevin Love and... who else makes up your Oregon prep all-stars?

I had a lot of fun yesterday on Twitter chatting about the five best high school basketball players I’ve seen in person and I thought I’d continue that discussion today with some additional thoughts about players I’ve seen.

I confined this to Oregon players, not the ones I’ve seen in tournaments in various places. I think it’s more fun than to include the drop-ins from the Les Schwab Invitational or the Nike tournaments.

My best five from Oregon that I watched play in high school:

  • Richard Washington, Benson Tech: Perhaps Oregon’s first big-time, national recruit. John Wooden came to see him here and the Wizard of Westwood seldom went anywhere to watch recruits. Washington, an athletic 6-11 center, eventually became an MVP of the Final Four for the Bruins but left school early as a “hardship” case, which allowed him to enter the NBA draft after his junior season. High school teams were virtually helpless against him. 

  • Danny Ainge, North Eugene High: Tremendous competitor who won state titles as a junior and senior, losing just one game over that time. Not flashy but hit all the big shots and made his teammates better. A terrific quarterback and shortstop, too. I still maintain that he is the state’s best all-around athlete ever.

  • Terrell Brandon, Grant High: Extremely quick with a high basketball IQ, he was a scorer, a playmaker and a leader for an outstanding team. Was once featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as “the best point guard in the NBA” before injuries got the best of him.

  • Kevin Love, Lake Oswego: Dominant inside player with all the post moves who could hit jump shots from three-point range. Relentless rebounder and a winner. Smart player who was nationally known at a very young age and was highly recruited. Like Washington, he ended up at UCLA, even though his father, Stan, starred at Oregon.

  • Damon Stoudamire, Wilson High: One of the best prep players in the country as a senior, he was smart, quick and a terrific clutch shooter from deep. Like Ainge, of course, he would later become a Trail Blazer. Lived and breathed basketball and still does -- was West Coast Conference Coach of the Year this season at Pacific.

At this point, I want to mention five great players from Oregon I never saw play in high school, although I may have seen them in college or the pros. Although a lot of people have probably not heard of some of these players, you should have:

  • Mel Counts, Marshfield High School: Played a dozen years in the NBA after his career at Oregon State and was way ahead of his time. This was a seven-footer with range on his jumper who would have been right at home shooting threes in today’s game.

  • Swede Halbrook, Lincoln High: At 7-3 was in the late 1950s the tallest player ever to play college basketball at that time, while at OSU. Set just about every scoring record in Oregon prep history while at Lincoln. Played two seasons for Syracuse in the NBA.

  • Jim Jarvis, Roseburg High: Saw him at Oregon State but not in high school. A flashy guard known for behind-the-back passes before many players did those in games. Played two seasons in the ABA.

  • Steve Jones, Franklin High: Saw his brother, Nick, play at Marshall, but did not see Steve play in high school. I always teased him that Nick was better, although I had no idea if that was true. Steve, an ex-Duck, went on to become an ABA stalwart and later, a Trail Blazer.

  • Dave Gambee, Corvallis High: After his career at Oregon State in the 1950s, he went on to play from 1958 to 1970 in the NBA, averaging 10.6 points per game. A rugged forward, he backed down from nobody.

Apologies to all the great players I forgot. This was a tough task because we’ve been blessed to see some very, very good ones in this state.

Feel free to leave your own additions to this group in the comments or with your tweets.

 

Kevin Love urges NBA players to pay it forward

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Kevin Love urges NBA players to pay it forward

Kevin Love believes it’s time for NBA players to step up. 

In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which led to the suspension of the NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward pledged to donate $100,000 through the Kevin Love Fund to support workers of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in downtown Cleveland. Love said he was concerned about the anxiety everyone is feeling and offered to help with the “sudden life shift” Cavs employees might be facing. 

On the “Today Show” Wednesday morning, Love shared why it was so important to get involved and why he thinks it’s essential for other players in the league to join him. 

"You have people living paycheck to paycheck, so I felt this is really the time, especially for us NBA players to walk the walk and be more than just athletes," Love said. "We see people in the community, we see people working in our arena at least 41 nights a year, us playing home games. So, it was just a way for me to try and help navigate this stressful and incredibly anxiety-ridden time.

"To just pay it forward and really help them. It’s been tough, just trying to normalize the conversation around what is going on. People are feeling a certain way about it, so I think it’s more of a time for us to step up and be leaders, to be community leaders and do what is right for the people that are having a very stressful and tough time.”

The Lake Oswego Lakers alum also sent this message to NBA Twitter on Tuesday evening, asking fans to practice empathy and compassion in a time where times are hard. Love said while it is importance for people to socially distance themselves, that doesn’t mean socially isolate. 

“Nothing unites us like the same enemy,” Love said in the video. “It’s very powerful what we are able to do.”

Other NBA owners and players have since publicly vowed to help compensate their communities in some way, including Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans. Hopefully more NBA players will follow Love’s lead. 

NBA players begin pledging money to assist arena employees during suspension

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NBA players begin pledging money to assist arena employees during suspension

NBA stars continue to help their arena staff members. 

Friday, Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo announced on social media that he has pledged $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff in order to aid in offsetting costs related to loss of earnings with the NBA currently suspended.

It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together! -- Giannis Antetokounmpo wrote on his Twitter

Antetokounmpo and the Bucks held the best record in the NBA at 53-12 when the league was put on hold. The 2019 MVP will be eligible for a supermax contract extension after the season that would most likely make him the highest paid player in the NBA.

The Greek Freak was the second known NBA player to make such a pledge.

To help ease the financial burden for the Cleveland Cavaliers arena and support staff, Thursday, Cavs All-Star Kevin Love pledged to donate $100,000 through the Kevin Love Fund. 

Even more players are planning to help out. New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson will reportedly donate enough money to cover the wages of the Smoothie King arena's staff for the next month. 

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has also said that he plans to continue to pay arena employees as if the games were still being played.

Kevin Love donates $100,000 to support Cavs employees amid NBA suspension

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@kevinlove

Kevin Love donates $100,000 to support Cavs employees amid NBA suspension

While NBA players around the league have been hit hard by the league’s unprecedented decision to postpone the 2020 season, it’s not the players Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is most concerned about.

There’s a number of behind-the-scenes workers, including ushers and concessions employees, that help contribute to the NBA experience, and they will undeniably be hit the hardest by the league’s postponement.

To help ease the financial burden for Cavaliers arena and support staff, Love has pledged to donate $100,000 through the Kevin Love fund to support this employees.

View this post on Instagram

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming. Through the game of basketball, we've been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season. I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities. Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need -- whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.

A post shared by Kevin Love (@kevinlove) on

“I’m concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season,” Love said in a post on Instagram. “I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities.

Love, who played high school basketball for the Lake Oswego Lakers, noted the coronavirus pandemic is more than a phenomenon, but something that affects individuals on a number of levels.

“It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need -- whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.”

Like Love, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has also said the team will take care of its hourly employees at American Airlines Center.

“There’s going to be hourly employees that aren’t working,” Cuban said on ESPN’s Get Up Thursday morning. “And so, we talked again this morning with our folks at the AAC and getting the numbers. For the next four Mavs games we have a program where—the next four would-have-been Mavs games—we’ll pay our employees, our hourly employees, as if they worked.”

The NBA has suspended game play until further notice, following All-Star Rudy Gobert’s coronavirus diagnosis. NBA owners are encouraging commissioner Adam Silver to reevaluate the league’s suspension of play in 30 days, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Why Kevin Love to Portland wouldn't be worth it for Trail Blazers

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Why Kevin Love to Portland wouldn't be worth it for Trail Blazers

The words Portland and Kevin Love seem like two things destined to collide. 

Uttered in the same breath, used in the same sentence... and it’s not because people have suddenly realized that Love hails from the Portland area.

Nope, the Lake Oswego native has been discussed in various trade rumors, and even more so now that he showed his frustration over the past few days about the direction of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Which, by the way, Love has since apologized for his behavior, which he deemed as “childish.”

Thursday, NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh discussed three potential teams that he believes would be the best fit for Love’s services. 

1. The Portland Trail Blazers

2. The Toronto Raptors

3. The Phoenix Suns

So, why the Blazers at No. 1? 

Haberstroh believes now, more than ever, Portland needs to take a risk while Damian Lillard is in his prime.  

Plus, Portland is “desperate for bigs.”

Haberstroh wrote:

 

Love’s contract seems to be the first roadblock. Suitors will have to absorb a deal that will pay Love an average of $30.5 million for another three seasons after this current one. For many, that’s a steep price to pay for a player on the wrong side of 30. Also, teams have to match Love’s current salary number of $28.9 million in any deal, either by bundling smaller deals together or swapping out an equally large salary.... 

 

To me, bringing the Portland native home is the most likely scenario. After inking Damian Lillard to a supermax extension this past summer, the injury-riddled Blazers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since Lillard’s rookie season, a steep dropoff from last season’s Western Conference finals. As Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes told me on last week’s Habershow podcast, this isn’t exactly what Lillard signed up for. 

At 16-22, the Blazers are desperate for bigs with Jusuf Nurkic (broken leg) still sidelined and Zach Collins facing potentially season-ending shoulder surgery. Carmelo Anthony, though he’s played admirably after a year away from the game, is not a long-term solution. 

The Blazers are sitting on two lottery tickets that could go up in smoke if they aren’t used in the next month. Hassan Whiteside’s $27 million expiring contract and Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million expiring contract can be traded for star players on teams that may be looking to clean up their cap sheet.

Haberstroh also discussed that Love could help free up some attention from Lillard and McCollum.

All of the above is true. Moving Carmelo Anthony over to play more of three spot and Love at the four could work nicely for the rest of the season.

And, it could work in the future; however, the Blazers would have to make a decision on sticking with Zach Collins as their starting power forward or going with the veteran in Love once Collins is healthy enough to play again. The Trail Blazers seem to be all-in on Collins as part of the future of their franchise. Could that change? Maybe. But, at a huge cost.

With the amount of money Love is owed, which is a ton, does Portland really want to take that much of a risk on a guy who has become injury prone? Haven’t they dealt with enough injuries this season? Wouldn't they rather dig in with a younger, less expensive with tremendous potential?

If they do bring Love aboard, you don't want a guy making $30 million coming off your bench or sidelined by injury. 

And then there is the question of Love really wants.

Yes, Love would fit into Terry Stotts’ system nicely (who doesn't)--  a big that can space the floor, but would he be happy in Portland

Sure, he’s not happy in Cleveland, but there have been rumblings that he’s never been a very proactive guy in saying he wants to move back and play for his hometown team.

Also, with so much speculation surrounding Love to Portland, doesn’t it make more sense for Neil Olshey to throw a curveball? I mean, who was expecting the Jusuf Nurkic trade? Olshey has his own way of doing things and look how well the Nurk trade has turned out.

So yes, Love to Portland may look like an obvious choice, but will it actually happen?

Hopefully for Love and Blazers fans’ sake, everyone will know well before the trade deadline of February 6th. 

Read more from Haberstroh HERE.

31 going on 13: Kevin Love responds to his child-like behavior

31 going on 13: Kevin Love responds to his child-like behavior

Something is going on with Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. 

The Cavs are riding a four-game losing streak that started with a 20-point loss at the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 31. Since then, Love has been seen slapping the leather chairs on the bench, flailing his arms up in the air at teammates and a rumored outburst at GM Koby Altman.

Love responded on his Instagram with a photo and caption explaining his side of it all:

And on Tuesday, Love addressed the media for the first time since his outbursts:

“I was frustrated and let my emotions get the best of me. It was on New Years Eve in Toronto. We were down 15, 17 points heading into half and that carried over into the second half. I wasn’t acting like a 31-year-old, I was acting like a 13-year-old. I ended up hitting the seat, screaming into the towel, and got into it with coach saying ‘take me out so I can collect myself.’

Obviously this has been extremely tough, especially with what our record indicates. It was a conversation that we had but nothing about any blowup, there was no blowup, there was no me talking about how much money I have. I’m an a**hole but I’m not that big of an a**hole.”

The reason this is relevant to Portland, is the NBA trade deadline coming up in a month. Will the Trail Blazers make a roster move and will that involve the Portland-native Kevin Love? The Trail Blazers (15-22) have a shortage of big men with injuries to Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, Skal Labissier, leaving just Hassan Whiteside and two-way player Moses Brown active on the roster.

[RELATED]: Did Cavaliers latest move pave the way for Kevin Love trade?

In his 11th NBA season, Love is averaging 16.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Haynes: "[Lillard] didn’t sign up to be on a team like this... there will be a move made"

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Haynes: "[Lillard] didn’t sign up to be on a team like this... there will be a move made"

We are exactly one month away from the NBA trade deadline.

We repeat, one month!

As the rumor mill continues to churn, the Trail Blazers trade chatter is heating up.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports caught up with NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh on the latest Habershow Podcast to discuss the latest surrounding the Blazers' trade rumors.

Haynes has no doubt the Trail Blazers, who are currently 15-22, will make a move.

With two valuable expiring contracts, that’s to be expected. 

“There will be a move made, for sure,” Haynes said. “It’s hard for me to believe that Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore will still be there past the trade deadline.”

As Haberstroh discussed, Bazemore and Whiteside’s expiring contracts are worth a lot with Bazemore at 19 million and Whiteside at 27 million.

Haynes discussed how the Blazers are constructed at the moment is not what Portland is looking for with Damian Lillard in his prime. 

They just expire and that’s why it’s hard for me to believe that they’ll be on the roster past that deadline. A move will be made. This is Dame’s spot. He just signed his super max this past summer. He didn’t sign up to be on a team like this. Nobody thought this was going to be the team. The front office, it’s their call now. It’s their play. I know Terry Stotts is going to get a lot of heat for what’s been going on this season, and likely so. He’s the coach. He’s got to take some blame, but I think we all see flaws in this roster. – Chris Haynes from Yahoo! Sports

Does Haynes believe the Trial Blazers could land Kevin Love?

Maybe.

“I don’t know if Kevin Love is the call,” Haynes said. “I don’t know if they end up getting him. I just have a hard time looking at the assets that Portland has and it’s hard for me to believe that that’s enough to get Kevin Love. But stranger things have happened.”

The Yahoo! Sports NBA Insider does, however, think the Trail Blazers may have enough to offer Cleveland if they really wanted to go out and land the All-Star big man.

“I believe they have the assets, and I don’t believe they’ll deal Anfernee [Simons] and Zach [Collins]. He [Neil Olshey] loves that kid [Anfernee]. I look at Whiteside too. The deal is attractive, expiring deals, but then you got to go in there with that young roster, with those young, impressionable guys and Cleveland could definitely make a move after that trade if they wanted to. I don’t know if he’s [Kevin Love] the right fit -- locker room wise -- with those guys even for half a season or less than that. But Zach and Anfernee, if those guys are in play, and I have a hard time believing they are, you could make a case that Portland has the best package to offer Cleveland out there.”

Of course, there has already been a lot made about Love potentially coming back to play in his hometown of Portland, and he has made it known he wants out of Cleveland, that’s for sure. 

But, does he want to be trading to Rip City? Dwight Jaynes doesn’t think so.  

If not Love, then who could be another potential target?

Here’s a short list of other potential top targets that teams are rumored to be open to dealing before the trade deadline:

-- Pistons Andre Drummond

-- Grizzlies Andre Iguodala

-- Thunder Steven Adams

(Or really anyone on the OKC roster)

-- Wizards Davis Bertans

-- Kings Dewayne Dedmon

-- Knicks Marcus Morris

Don’t expect any move to happen right away.

It sounds like teams are weighing their options and won’t pull the trigger until closer to the February 6th deadline.

But as always we are continuing to keep our finger on the pulse. Keep it locked here at NBCSNW.com. 

LISTEN TO ENTIRE HABERSHOW PODCAST WITH CHRIS HAYNES HERE: 

Kevin Love wants to play in Portland? I want to hear that from him

Kevin Love wants to play in Portland? I want to hear that from him

Rumors are circulating once again that Kevin Love is urging the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him. And, it seems, every time those stories are written, it’s said that he would prefer a trade to the Trail Blazers.

Portland has the ability to make such a trade, using the expiring contract of Hassan Whiteside.

But I’m not entirely sure where that information about Love's desire is coming from. As far as I know, the former Lake Oswego resident has never publicly said that. And until I hear it come from his mouth, I’m not buying it.

In fact, people I know who are familiar with his situation, or close to the Cavaliers, have told me that they have not heard any particular wish from him to return to his hometown.

Many NBA players, in fact, do not desire a return home.

I have no idea what Love truly wants, but I’m not going to fall for unsubstantiated rumors of what he thinks or desires.

And if I were in his situation and had spent my career playing in Minnesota and Cleveland, I would be wishing for a warm-weather city.

And if I were a team interested in trading for him, I would certainly make sure he was all-in on coming to my franchise.

 Particularly in his hometown, which can be a touchy situation.

Kevin Love sure seems like a guy who is going to get traded soon

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Kevin Love sure seems like a guy who is going to get traded soon

Who knows what will happen if Kevin Love isn’t traded soon.

Saturday during Cleveland’s shootaround, Love expressed how he is not happy about the direction of the team with “an emotional outburst toward general manager Koby Altman,” that’s according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.  

Charania also reported that Love was screaming that there is “no feel here,” as the Cavaliers have accelerated their rebuild year. Love’s outburst came in front of teammates, the Cavs coaching staff and members of the front office.  

Saturday’s blowup is no surprise.

Love has been showing his frustration with his situation this season, but as yet to publicly ask for a trade.

If he were to ask for one, however, it's been reported he'd prefer to land in his hometown team of the Portland Trail Blazers.

However, he did share a public post to his Instagram after Saturday's shootaround. 

Love’s caption read: “Mood” with a Joker photo.

View this post on Instagram

Mood.

A post shared by Kevin Love (@kevinlove) on

The 31 year old is averaging 16.6 points and 10.5 boards in 29 games this season. Cleveland is now 10-25 overall after losing to the Thunder Saturday night, 121-106.

My how things have changed since Love signed his contract extension in July of 2018.

During his press conference following his new deal, Love expressed how he hopes his name won’t come up in trade rumors anymore.

James Rapien of Cleland’s 92.3 The Fan reposted the 2018 interview to Twitter.

This is where I wanted to be, I’ve said that all along. --Kevin Love in July of 2018

Well, that has to make Cavs fans cringe.

So, now the question is when will the trade happen?

It’s gotta happen, right? 

And, how many Trail Blazers fans are still hoping he will be traded to play in his hometown? 

Love fits the profile of a player Olshey has targeted in the past: A player who has fallen out of favor with his team and is looking for another chance. 

He's in the first year of his 4-year, $120 million contract extension. Love’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season with a player option for 2019-2020. The Lake Oswego native will be under contract until 2022-‘23. While a contract this size and this early into it may seem like a tough pill to swallow, Olshey's preference would be to trade the team's expiring contracts for ones with longer terms. 

Things seem like they're starting to add up...

Grab your popcorn things might get worse before they get better for Love and it may be to Portland's benefit. 

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Does Jordan Clarkson trade open door for Kevin Love to Portland?

Does Jordan Clarkson trade open door for Kevin Love to Portland?

The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Jordan Clarkson to the Utah Jazz on Monday in return for Donte Exum and two second-round draft picks in a move that surprised many around the NBA. 

Clarkson has been a prolific bench scorer for the Cavaliers this season, while Exum is having the worst year of his career and has never come close to the expectations set by being the fifth overall pick in 2014. 

The move proved three things to us:
1) The Jazz are serious and gearing up to be a real postseason threat.
2) The Cavs have let the first domino fall, showing their intent to go into full sell mode.
3) If the Blazers hope to make the postseason and go on a run, they need to make moves. The teams around them are, and they can't afford to be left behind. 

One potential move for Portland may have had the door open just a little wider. That is to say, with the Cavs dealing Clarkson, have they opened the door for Kevin Love to come home?

Love has long been linked to the Blazers, and Portland is in desperate need of help at power forward. The one hangup we have been hearing is that the asking price for Love is too high. But the Clarkson trade hints that Cleveland may be willing to give up some players for less than their actual value. 

Exum is nowhere near the talent of Clarkson, and him coupled with second-round picks was all it took to snatch Clarkson from Cleveland. The move didn't even offer Cleveland that much financial relief. Clarkson has a $13.4 million expiring deal, while Exum is making  $9.6 million and is under contract through next season as well. 

To sum it up: Cleveland sent 14.6 points per game Utah for $3.8 million in cap relief and some picks. Those in pursuit of Love have to be salivating. 

Kevin Love is making $28.9 million this season, so the only financial way you pull the trade off is by using Hassan Whiteside's $27.1 million contract. That would give the Cavs a big expiring deal, and if you throw in a pick it could be enough to grab Love. But given how well Whiteside has been playing, it might be Cleveland that has to throw a pick to Portland. 

Love may not be the player fans want, but Cleveland has shown he is there for the taking. Portland needs to do something to help salvage the season and keep hopes alive for a deep playoff run. That something could be a former Oregonian looking to come home.