Kevin Love

Kevin Love opens up to CJ McCollum on the latest Pull Up podcast

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Kevin Love opens up to CJ McCollum on the latest Pull Up podcast

Episode No. 71 of the ‘Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum’ addresses mental health and the crucial balance between an NBA player’s social life and work life.

On this latest podcast, McCollum and NBA analyst Jordan Schultz take a deep dive on the physical and mental aspects of NBA players’ lives.

This episode also has an extra special Portland connection.

Special guest 5x NBA All-Star and NBA Champion Kevin Love joins the discussion.

This is the first edition of a two part series. Love talks about each phase of his career and making sure he continues to taking care of himself.   

From his start at Lake Oswego High School, OR to winning a championship with Lebron James, this podcast takes you through Love’s journey of how he became the player he is today as he get sets to enter his 12th season in the league.

Love recently addressed how he has been battling mental health issues when he wrote about it in ‘The Players’ Tribune’ back in May.

Love and McCollum talk more about Love's mental health and depression issues on the podcast.  

“If you kill the body, the mind will die,” Love told McCollum.

 

“Working on what’s between the ears… I think that’s lost on so many guys and we play such a long drawn out season… You do have to find some sort of break,” Love continued.   

NBA fans appreciate Love and McCollum’s honesty and how the two opened up on this latest podcast.

Love also discussed what he does in the offseason to get his mind right. During the summer Love focuses on meditation as well as attending talk therapy sessions.

The podcast was a chance for Love to reminisce about growing up in Oregon, too.

“I grew up in Nike’s backyard… I’ve developed lifelong friendships from my backyard in Beaverton, Oregon,” Love said.

The soon to be 31-year-old also talked about being overweight earlier in his basketball career and how he’s worked to stay in shape.

Love’s work ethic has been inspiring other Trail Blazers this summer.  Blazers forward Mario Hezonja had to kick it up a notch with his personal workout. Or to be exact, he had to add five pounds.

LISTEN TO THE PULL UP PODCAST ON APPLE PODCAST HERE.

LISTEN ON SPOTIFY RIGHT HERE.

Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Cleveland Cavs

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Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Cleveland Cavs

Tonight’s game is the first of two matchups between the Trail Blazers and Cavaliers. The Cavs have won just nine games so far this season, a league-worst, but are coming off a 101-95 win over the Lakers. 

 

Both Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Cavs head coach Larry Drew spoke with the media prior to tonight’s game to give injury updates and more.

Blazers Injury Update: This morning Damian Lillard (right hand strain) and Maurice Harkless (left knee) were listed as questionable for tonight's game vs. Cleveland. Both Lillard and Harkless will go through warm-ups and are a game-time decision. About forty-minute before tip-off, the Blazers announced that Lillard is available for tonight’s game, but Harkless is out.

Coach Stotts addressed the issue of his team struggling on the road this season. He said the goal is to always be at least .500 away from Moda Center. He was pleased with the latest two-game road trip and said the Blazers were “competitive” against two good teams in the West.

Hear from Coach Stotts right here: 


Cleveland is dealing with several injuries at this point in the season.

 

Cavs Injury Update: John Henson (left wrist), Kevin Love (left foot), Larry Nance Jr. (right knee), David Nwaba (left ankle) and JR Smith (NWT) are out. Coach Drew said Love is making progress, but he has not been cleared for any contact drills.

 

Drew also discussed what it takes to beat the Trail Blazers. He emphasized the Cavs need to get out to a quick start, rebound, and take care of the ball.

 

Plus, Drew said a big focus will be on the Blazers’ pick and roll because that’s something Portland does so well. 


Hear from Coach Drew right here: 

Kevin Love Fund launches to help raise awareness for mental health

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Kevin Love Fund launches to help raise awareness for mental health

NBA star and Portland native Kevin Love is starting a foundation to raise awareness about mental health issues.

Love took his battle with mental health public last season following a panic attack during a game against the Atlanta Hawks. Now, he is using his own experience to help those who are also struggling with mental health issues. 

Love was on The Today Show on Tuesday to talk about his new foundation. 

He also made a stop by the set of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah this week, where the two talked about Love's battle with mental health and his new business venture with Banana Repuclic. You can watch the entire interview below.

Portland tried for Love, but was met with a closed door

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Portland tried for Love, but was met with a closed door

It seems as though the Blazers had the intention of swiping right on Kevin Love, but the Cavs swiped left. In what has been an exciting NBA offseason to say the least got even better today as all-star Kevin Love signs a contract extension with the Cavaliers for four years totalling $120 million. Some questioned whether Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey would attempt some sort of deal or trade with the Cavs to acquire the Portland-native Love into coming home and playing for his hometown Blazers. 

Well, he did try but was met with a closed door. 

According to an article written by SportingNews' Sean Deveney:

"Throughout the season, especially as Cleveland struggled with the veteran group it originally put together, teams would call the Cavs with one player especially targeted: All-Star forward Kevin Love. Each time, the inquiring team — among them, according to sources, were Miami, Charlotte and Portland — was given a polite, "No thanks.""

What would have been a sweet addition to this Trail Blazers roster is no longer an option. 

LINKS:

Video: Kevin Love staying with the Cavs means more of the Love-Channing Frye bromance

Report: Kevin Love signs contract extension with the Cavs

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Report: Kevin Love signs contract extension with the Cavs

Oregon native Kevin Love has reportedly signed a 4-year, $120m extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Love’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season with a player option for 2019-2020. Now, the 29-year-old from Lake Oswego will be under contract with the Cavaliers until 2022-‘23.

Love’s future with the Cavaliers had been up in the air ever since LeBron James left Cleveland to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Love’s name was thrown around in trade rumors, he was linked to numerous teams including the Trail Blazers, and experts wondered if the Cavs would go full rebuild or just build around Love.

The answer is now clear: Cleveland is building a future with Kevin Love as its centerpiece. 

For his career Love holds averages of 18.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.

 

 

 

I'm getting very tired of the NBA's "Cult of personality"

I'm getting very tired of the NBA's "Cult of personality"

Well, here we go again. Cleveland vs. Golden State. And if you're not fired up about this matchup, well... join the club. It's likely to be a very short series and more of what we've been watching for the past several weeks in the playoffs, including:

  • The thing that's bothered me about the league for several years now: The total glorification of its star players unlike any other major sport. It's what's called a "Cult of personality." Webster's Dictionary defines that as "a situation in which a public figure (such as a political leader) is deliberately presented to the people of a country as a great person who should be admired and loved." For example, LeBron James -- whom the ESPN announcers just can't seem to find enough adjectives to describe. They are fawning all over him. He couldn't be more celebrated if he cured cancer. Yeah, OK, I've got LeBron Fatigue -- I admit it. But this has been going on for years in a league that has for decades celebrated individuals over teams.
  • Scott Foster. This referee is seemingly in hot pursuit of the impossible -- making the fans of every team in the league believe he's out to get their team. And it looks sometimes as if they might be correct.
  • Speaking of referees, there is no way in the world they should be paid in full for working playoff games. They simply don't do their job. They overlook fouls to the degree that when they call one, the reaction is always, "Wait a minute, you just let worse than that go at the other end!"
  • If I never see James Harden take another dive after a three-point field goal attempt I will be a happy man. And I would love not to watch him travel on his step=back move. And it's not fun to see him dribble endlessly between his legs without using it to go anywhere. Actually, overall, I have Harden Fatigue, too.
  • I fully understand the value of three-point field goals and why teams are hoisting them by the dozen. And really, it's only going to get worse. But what I don't get is why a team with a double-digit halftime lead doesn't try first to get easy two-point shots. When you have a solid lead, it's going to take a lot of three-point makes to overcome your two-point makes. And I'm talking about YOU, Houston. And by the way, if you just stood back and let Harden take it to the basket, he'd have been at the foul line all night and you wouldn't have lost.
  • I heard the jokesters on the TNT panel talking about Kevin Love missing a Game 7 because of a concussion and they, of course, bragged about how they would have played no matter what. You know, take a couple of Advil and go get 'em. And for all the things they make TV guys apologize for these days, this should have been one of them. My goodness -- concussion protocol is there for a very good reason and it's to protect players from their own stupidity. But here we are again with the macho garbage about playing with an injury that could lead to some serious brain damage.
  • That said, I cannot understand why ESPN can't come up with a halftime/pregame panel even remotely as good as the one on TNT.
  • Oh well, there's still the Finals to come. Let's all sit back and watch Lebron and Scott Foster do their thing. Enjoy!

(UPDATED): Isaiah Thomas will play vs. Blazers, but Kevin Love is ill

(UPDATED): Isaiah Thomas will play vs. Blazers, but Kevin Love is ill

UPDATED WITH CLEVELAND ILLNESS: At first glance, the NBA schedule has dealt the Trail Blazers a tough hand Tuesday night.

After an overtime win in Chicago Monday, Portland travels to Cleveland for a game tonight vs. the Cavaliers -- a back-to-back contest vs. one of the league's very best teams. But sometimes, the first glance doesn't tell the whole story.

Cleveland is facing a back-to-back, too -- and the backstory there is worth examining.

[NBC Sports Gold “Blazers Pass” premium-game Blazers streaming package for fans without NBC Sports Northwest – $34.99 – click to learn more and buy]

The Cavaliers' back-to-back features a trip to Boston on Wednesday night to play the Celtics -- a big rivalry game made even more heated by another matchup between the Celts' Kyrie Irving and his former team. The Trail Blazers' best hope would be that Cleveland is looking past this home game against Portland to that contest against the Celtics. The Cavaliers are also on a three-game losing streak, although those were road games and the Cavs have won 12 straight home contests.

Tuesday also will mark the season debut of Boston guard Isaiah Thomas, who has been sidelined with a hip injury. Is that good or bad for Portland? Thomas is expected to be on a strict minutes restriction against the Trail Blazers and will not play Wednesday at Boston against his former team. Often, the first game back after a prolonged injury absence can be a little rough, which would be another bonus for Portland.

Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers are expected to welcome Damian Lillard back to the lineup after a five-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

It's worth noting that last season at Cleveland, former Lake Oswego High School star Kevin Love was impossible for Portland to control. Love scored 34 points and made eight three-point field goals in the first quarter, the most points a player has ever scored in the opening quarter of an NBA game. Love is enjoying an outstanding season and has scored at least 20 points and hit at least three three-pointers in six consecutive games.

UPDATE: The bad news for Cleveland is that Love missed shootaround this morning and word is that he's suffering from food poisoning that has caused him to lose 10 pounds in two days. LeBron James is also suffering from a cold.

Coverage starts on NBC Sports Northwest at 3 o'clock with Rip City Live.

 

GOAT? Who knows... but there's never been another team like the Warriors

GOAT? Who knows... but there's never been another team like the Warriors

You can talk all day and all night about the greatest teams of all time. And you really can't come to any conclusions. Differing eras makes it too difficult.

But there has never been another team like this version of the Golden State Warriors.

Folks, time changes. And it has changed basketball in a very big way. You know that, of course, but it may be a bigger change than you think.

Yes, the Warriors shoot the three-point shot like nobody else -- in volume and accuracy. In Game 3, they made 16 of their 33 threes while Cleveland was hitting just 12 of 44. That's a huge edge.

And I must say, Steph Curry is just as unique as his team. I know Kevin Durant is getting most of the headlines from Wednesday's game -- as he should -- but we're already taking Curry for granted because he's been doing his amazing thing for a few years now.

It wasn't just that Curry made five of his nine three-point shots. It's that he made shots -- and continues to make shots -- from spots where other players don't dare shoot them. And he gets them off quickly, too. Curry's edge over most every other player in the NBA is that he's accumulating points three at a time on shots that nobody else makes with consistency. If he gets a glimmer of daylight from about 25 feet and in, he can be deadly. I don't remember any other player in the history of the game as proficient as he is at shooting in volume from distance.

And above that, he's a perpetual motion machine. He had 13 rebounds Wednesday because he's so active. He gets to the ball, whether in the air or on the floor. In his own way, he's as difficult to defend as any of the game's legendary players.

And yes, the Warriors also have other shooters. Klay Thompson and Durant are terrific. But what makes these guys special is that they move the ball and move bodies. They play an unselfish, equal-opportunity offense that doesn't allow the defense to lock in on anybody. In contrast to the Cavaliers.

Cleveland plays too much one-on-one. It's really not sustainable -- even as good as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are at it -- over the long haul against a team moving the ball the way the Warriors do.

Wednesday, 72.5 percent of Golden State's made field goals were assisted. For Cleveland, it was just 42.5. EVERY SINGLE SHOT by Thompson, Draymond Green, David West and Shaun Livingston came off an assist. That's crazy.

And of course, when a lot of people are evaluating this series at some point, they're going to point fingers at the Cavaliers' "supporting cast" and conclude Cleveland didn't get enough production out of it. I think it's easy to say that, but my observation over many years of watching this game is that when one or two players are as ball dominant as James and Irving are, other players simply don't get a good feel for the game. What you end up with is players who are so eager to actually get a shot they burp up a bad one (J.R. Smith) or become more reluctant to shoot (Kevin Love). It's a natural response when you aren't getting consistent touches.

Basketball is changing at warp speed and the Warriors are leading the way. Shooting from distance is of paramount importance these days. You simply cannot afford to get outscored by a big number from behind the three-point line. It's so difficult to overcome that. And you've got to move the ball and play unselfishly to get open three-point shots.

And to beat the Warriors, you're going to need a great team. And there is only one great team out there right now and it's the Warriors. And they are so much different than any of the other great teams in history that it's hard to say where they fit.

A few other thoughts about Game 3:

  • I'm still not understanding why James didn't get out past the three-point line on Durant on that critical shot late in the game. That shot was too important to allow it to be wide open.
  • I'm also bewildered as to why the NBA allows these games to degenerate into a wrestling match. So many obvious fouls are being ignored that if you actually get called for a foul -- or a travel or a double dribble -- you're just flat-out unlucky. It's a joke.
  • People are saying that Green isn't playing his best during this series but he does so many things for his team. Wednesday night he led all players in contested shots with 15, had the best plus/minus of anybody with 14 and had a team-high seven assists to go with a team-high five screen-assists. That doesn't sound like a bad game to me.
  • The only team capable of beating the Warriors is the Warriors. If they don't move, or move the ball, or take a night off on defense, they can be had. But that's the only way.

 

 

Three things to monitor during the NBA Finals

Three things to monitor during the NBA Finals

The NBA Finals (finally) start tonight in Oakland and here are three things to keep an eye on during the series, three things that could decide the Finals rubber match between these two superteams:

  • How will this series be officiated? Last year the Cavaliers were able to get very physical with Steph Curry -- holding him, bumping him and keeping him from the constant movement that helps him get free. If that happens in this series, not only with Curry but the other players who make the Golden State motion offense the best in the league, the Warriors are going to have trouble.
  • Can the Warriors bring down Cleveland's three-point field-goal percentage? The Cavaliers are making an impressive 43.5 percent of their threes and if that continues it's going to keep Cleveland in this series. And that percentage is not based on a small sample size. The Cavs have made 45 more three-point shots than the Warriors have in the playoffs. And people wonder why LeBron James is playing so well this postseason? He's got help in the form of shooters who have spread the floor, allowing him to get to the basket easier than ever. People talk a lot about Kyrie Irving but Kevin Love is critical for this team. So far, he's averaging 17.2 points per game in 32 minutes, with 10.4 rebounds per game and a 47.5 shooting percentage from three-point range. If those numbers hold firm in the Finals, the Cavaliers have a real shot.
  • How much coaching is Steve Kerr going to do in the Finals? I have tremendous respect for what he's done for that team and I think the Warriors can only reach their maximum potential with Kerr on the sidelines. Mike Brown is probably a very capable replacement but he's a replacement -- and substitute teachers are never as good as the real thing. Kerr has created a team that is superior on offense and very good on defense and it would be a shame if he couldn't be there to guide it to the end of the season. And it could also be detrimental to the Warriors' chance of capturing the championship.

Who do I think will win? Golden State. This is one of the league's all-time great teams and if Kevin Durant doesn't crack under the pressure of the Finals the Warriors should win. But I'm not sure it's going to be as easy as many people figure. Cleveland is the one team that can match Golden State's three-point production and that's a big key in the modern game. And to beat Golden State, you better score a whole lot of points.

Trail Blazers drubbed again as Kevin Love has NBA record performance in Cleveland

Trail Blazers drubbed again as Kevin Love has NBA record performance in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- The Trail Blazers' defensive nightmare continues.

Cleveland forward Kevin Love scored an NBA record 34 points in the first quarter -- which included eight three-pointers -- and the Cavaliers stained the Blazers' record book with gaudy numbers Wednesday in a 137-125 rout at Quicken Loans Arena. 

The Blazers (8-9) entered the game with the NBA's second worst defensive rating, just one-tenth below Sacramento, and proceeded to give up a franchise-tying 46 points in the first quarter and a season high in points for the second time during this trip. In addition to Love, LeBron James had a field day, recording his second triple-double of the season: 31 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. 

Damian Lillard, who vowed before the game to take his game "to another level" had 40 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds as the Blazers lost of the fifth time in the last six games. Four of those loses have included deficits of 20 or more points. 

Love, the Lake Oswego native, finished with 40 points and his 34-point outburst was three off Klay Thompson's NBA record for points in any quarter, which Thompson set two seasons ago in the third quarter against Sacramento. He finished 12-of-20 from the field, 8-of-12 from three-point range and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. 

Love made his first seven shots, including his first six three-pointers, as the Cavs raced to a 26-13 lead just more than four minutes into the game. 

Cleveland (11-2) were playing on four days rest while Portland was coming in the back end of a back-to-back and finishing a five-game swing during which they went 1-4. 

After all the smoke cleared from Love and Cleveland's hot shooting, the Blazers found themselves within striking distance after CJ McCollum made a driving layin with 9:26 left in the second quarter, pulling the Blazers within 51-42. But with Love on the bench, the rest of the Cavaliers remained hot, as Channing Frye hit four three-pointers, JR Smith two and Kyrie Irving two. 

All told, the Cavaliers hit 16 three-pointers in the first half (in 22 attempts), the 16 the most by opponent in Blazers history, surpassing the 14 made by Golden State last March and the 14 made by New York in 2012. Cleveland finished with 21 three-pointers, the most the Blazers have ever allowed. 

The Blazers started Evan Turner in the second half in place of Ed Davis, and a 12-2 run to open the half was enough concern for Cleveland to call a timeout. The Blazers eventually got within 94-83 in the third quarter, but each flurry was met by a surge from James, who recorded his second triple-double early in the fourth quarter. It was his 44th career triple-double. 

Mason Plumlee made 9-of-10 shots for the Blazers and finished with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Turner added 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting. 

Next up: New Orleans at Blazers, 7 p.m. Friday (CSN)