LeBron's call lured Love to Cavs

  • Article by: TIM WARSINSKEY , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2014 - 1:03 AM

Although he said he enjoyed his time in Minnesota, Love’s desire to play with James won out.

– When LeBron James called, Kevin Love said goodbye Minnesota and hello Cleveland. Love left behind six seasons without a playoff appearance, and immediately began visualizing NBA championships.

Just as James helped draw Chris Bosh with him to Miami four years ago, James’ first call as a Cav was to Love, his former Olympic teammate, who was looking for a way out of Minneapolis with one year remaining on his contract with the Timberwolves.

“LeBron had signed to come back to the Cleveland Cavaliers and just few hours later he called me, and I said, ‘You know what? I’m in,’ ” Love said Tuesday. “[James signing] had a lot to do with my decision.”

Love, traded to the Cavs in a three-team deal announced Saturday, was introduced to a media throng Tuesday at the Cavaliers’ practice facility in suburban Cleveland. Love has not signed an extension with the Cavaliers, but said he planned to stay.

“Like I told [Cavs General Manager David] Griffin, and [owner] Dan Gilbert, I’m committed to this team, committed long-term to the end goal, and that’s to win championships, and to win a championship here in Ohio,” Love said.

Love, a three-time NBA All-Star forward, acknowledged a sometimes rocky relationship with fans during his Minnesota tenure.

Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Love said, “Just as a guy that worked extremely hard, was good to the community and tried to fit into that Minnesota nice lifestyle. I know we had some rocky and bittersweet moments, which kind of holds true for any player in the league, but I hope they’ll tend to look at the good times, like I do.”

Love said it was tough not making the playoffs in his six years with Minnesota.

“But saying I didn’t enjoy my time in Minneapolis wouldn’t be doing it right,” he said. “I loved my time there. The people of Minnesota were great. The fans were great. They showed up win, lose or draw. I really developed a lot of relationships all the way down through the organization, through ownership, through Flip [Saunders], management, players, all the way to probably my best friend there, which his Clayton Wilson, the equipment manager.

“It was a great six years. I enjoyed my time.”

Love did not shed light on when he told Minnesota he would not re-sign with the Timberwolves, or what he told the team, saying his agent, Jeff Schwartz, had those conversations with Saunders. Schwartz did not attend the news conference and Jaymee Messler of Schwartz’s agency, Excel Sports, declined to comment.

Griffin said the trade was in the works for 18 months.

James signed a two-year deal with the Cavaliers last month, and can opt out next year. Like Love, James said he is committed long-term to Cleveland.

Love developed a bond with James at the 2012 London Olympics, where he told Love he would be the reason the Team USA would win the gold medal, which it did.

“We’ve always had a common respect for each other. I always admired the way he worked, and I got to see that firsthand, really, in 2012,” Love said. “He would usually sit next to me and had a locker really close to me and would always tell me how good he thought I was. I would just kind of brush it off. I was kind of standoffish because I didn’t know him well.

“But when we were at MJ’s [Michael Jordan’s] 50th birthday party at the All-Star Game in Houston [in February 2013], he pulled me aside and I had a private conversation with him. I said I knew and I believed him then, what he thought of me. It just goes to show you that things come full circle, that I was the first call that he made after he signed, and I’m very happy about that.”

Love said he has found a place to live in Cleveland and worked out a couple times at the practice facility. Emblematic of what he hopes will be a fresh start in Cleveland, Love will wear uniform number 0. His first choices were not available because all are retired Cavaliers numbers: No. 42, his number in Minnesota, belonged to Nate Thurmond; 11, his Olympic number, belonged to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and 7 belonged to Bobby “Bingo” Smith.

Love said he spoke to Thurmond about wearing No. 42, and Thurmond agreed to it, but Love ultimately chose zero.

  • related content

  • Wolves' new players welcomed at a fair to remember

    Wednesday August 27, 2014

    The Timberwolves’ new players were welcomed by fans in carnival atmosphere Tuesday at the Minnesota State Fair.

  • Taylor questions Love's health, defense; Love suggests Taylor move on

    Wednesday August 27, 2014

    The Wolves owner offered candid assessments of his former star’s years with the team.

  • Live Blog replay: New Timberwolves at the State Fair

    Tuesday August 26, 2014

    Andrew Wiggins, Zach La Vine and the other new members of the Timberwolves were introduced at the Minnesota State Fair, Our Live Blog has photos, tweets and some video clips...

  • Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

    Tuesday August 26, 2014

  • Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love holds up his new jersey with general manager David Griffin at the NBA basketball team's practice facility in Independence, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Love was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team trade that was finalized over the weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

  • Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love answers questions during his introductory news conference at the NBA basketball team's practice facility in Independence, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Love was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team trade that was finalized over the weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

  • With other numbers he’s worn already retired by the Cavaliers, Kevin Love will be No. 0.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Tennessee 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Detroit 11/23/14 12:00 PM
New England
Green Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Jacksonville 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Cincinnati 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tampa Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Arizona 11/23/14 3:05 PM
Seattle
St. Louis 11/23/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Miami 11/23/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Washington 11/23/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
Dallas 11/23/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Orlando 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Detroit 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Memphis
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Washington
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Minnesota
LA Lakers 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 8:00 PM
Denver
Chicago 9:30 PM
Portland
Utah 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Rangers 0 Postponed
Buffalo 0
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Boston 6:00 PM
Columbus
New Jersey 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Texas A&M 59 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 50
USC 72 FINAL
Drexel 70
Clemson 48 2nd Half 15:38
Gardner-Webb 38
Dayton 3 1st Half 18:20
Connecticut 5
Akron 0 1st Half 18:55
Miami-Florida 0
Seton Hall 3:00 PM
Nevada
Valparaiso 3:30 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
UNC Greensboro 3:30 PM
Longwood
Syracuse 4:00 PM
Iowa
Central Conn St 4:00 PM
Towson
Boston College 4:00 PM
West Virginia
Ill-Chicago 4:00 PM
Yale
Alcorn State 4:30 PM
Hampton
LSU 5:30 PM
Old Dominion
Prairie View 6:00 PM
Baylor
Montana State 0 Postponed
Buffalo 0
Maine 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Wofford 6:00 PM
Fairfield
New Mexico 6:00 PM
George Mason
Troy 6:00 PM
Georgia
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Hofstra
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Kentucky
Loyola-Chicago 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Toledo 6:00 PM
Oregon
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Rider
Charlotte 6:00 PM
South Carolina
UNLV 6:00 PM
Stanford
George Washington 6:00 PM
Virginia
Hiwassee 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Texas 6:30 PM
California
Florida Memorial 6:30 PM
FIU
Southern Ill 6:30 PM
Kent State
Bethune-Cookman 6:30 PM
Monmouth
Delaware State 7:00 PM
Arkansas
ULM 7:00 PM
Florida
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
Illinois
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Jarvis Christian 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Xavier
Kennesaw St 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
North Dakota 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Iona 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
Louisiana 8:00 PM
Auburn
Georgia State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Penn State 8:00 PM
Cornell
Marshall 8:00 PM
Louisville
Oral Roberts 8:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Riverside 8:00 PM
Utah
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Washington St
Illinois State 8:00 PM
Weber State
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Sam Houston St 8:00 PM
South Dakota
Temple 8:30 PM
Duke
Presbyterian 9:00 PM
American Univ
Delaware 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Washington 9:00 PM
Seattle
Kansas State 9:30 PM
Long Beach State
Pittsburgh 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(12) Kansas State 26 FINAL
West Virginia 20
North Carolina 45 FINAL
(25) Duke 20
Arkansas State 27 FINAL
Texas State 45
Kent State 0 Cancelled
Buffalo 0
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
Rice
Air Force 8:30 PM
San Diego St
San Jose St 8:30 PM
Utah State
Char Southern 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(9) Georgia
South Alabama 11/22/14 11:00 AM
So Carolina
Rutgers 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(10) Michigan State
Minnesota 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(21) Nebraska
Northwestern 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(18) Marshall 11/22/14 11:00 AM
UAB
Kansas 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(23) Oklahoma
Indiana 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Penn State 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
(14) Eastern Ky 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Florida
TX-San Antonio 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
SMU 11/22/14 11:00 AM
UCF
Virginia Tech 11/22/14 11:30 AM
Wake Forest
Washington St 11/22/14 12:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Louisiana Tech 11/22/14 12:00 PM
Old Dominion
Western Mich 11/22/14 12:00 PM
Central Mich
New Mexico 11/22/14 12:30 PM
(22) Colorado State
Eastern Mich 11/22/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Appalachian St 11/22/14 1:00 PM
Louisiana
Tulsa 11/22/14 2:00 PM
Houston
(15) Arizona 11/22/14 2:30 PM
(20) Utah
FIU 11/22/14 2:30 PM
North Texas
(8) Ole Miss 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Arkansas
Louisville 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Notre Dame
Maryland 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Texas Tech 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Iowa State
(14) Wisconsin 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Syracuse 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Boston College 11/22/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Georgia State 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Tulane 11/22/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Stanford 11/22/14 3:00 PM
California
Western Carolina 11/22/14 3:00 PM
(2) Alabama
ULM 11/22/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
So Florida 11/22/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
Colorado 11/22/14 3:30 PM
(3) Oregon
Fla Atlantic 11/22/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Samford 11/22/14 6:00 PM
(16) Auburn
Miami-Florida 11/22/14 6:00 PM
Virginia
Vanderbilt 11/22/14 6:30 PM
(4) Miss State
(19) Missouri 11/22/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
Oklahoma State 11/22/14 6:30 PM
(6) Baylor
(24) USC 11/22/14 7:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Cincinnati 11/22/14 7:00 PM
Connecticut
Boise State 11/22/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 11/22/14 9:30 PM
Washington
Fresno State 11/22/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
UNLV 11/22/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(5) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
(21) Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(18) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(19) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(15) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(11) UCLA
(22) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
BYU 11/29/14 2:00 AM
California
(20) Utah 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Colorado
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Oregon State
Kentucky 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Louisville
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(24) USC
So Carolina 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Clemson
Florida 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(1) Florida State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(25) Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
Montreal 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/23/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
TBA 11/30/14 5:00 PM
TBA
Delaware 60 FINAL
East Carolina 89
Wiley 65 FINAL
Sam Houston St 48
SE Louisiana 68 2nd Half 7:25
Troy 50
St Francis-NY 3:00 PM
North Dakota
Eastern Kentucky 4:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Chattanooga 4:00 PM
(3) Notre Dame
UT Martin 5:00 PM
Dayton
William & Mary 5:00 PM
NC A&T
LSU-Alexandria 0 Cancelled
Nicholls 0
Eastern Illinois 5:00 PM
Florida State
Marquette 5:00 PM
Wake Forest
Columbia College 5:30 PM
SC State
Rider 5:30 PM
Towson
Jackson State 6:00 PM
Mercer
High Point 6:00 PM
NC State
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Samford
Morehead St 6:00 PM
Indiana
Lehigh 6:00 PM
NJIT
Alabama 6:00 PM
Kansas
Canisius 6:00 PM
Bryant
San Diego State 6:00 PM
Furman
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Evansville 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Winthrop 6:00 PM
(4) Tennessee
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
Campbell
Elon 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Fordham
Columbia 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
USC 6:30 PM
Long Beach St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
SE Missouri St
Massachusetts 7:00 PM
North Texas
Kent State 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Hampton 7:00 PM
Kansas State
Bradley 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Houston 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
North Florida 7:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Arizona 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
ULM 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Tulsa 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Graceland 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Pepperdine 7:30 PM
(19) Iowa
Temple 7:30 PM
Georgetown
Denver 8:00 PM
Wyoming
(24) Gonzaga 8:00 PM
Montana State
Boise State 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Missouri 8:30 PM
UNLV
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Montana 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Villanova 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Seattle 10:30 PM
Washington St
(14) California 10:59 PM
Hawaii

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers and Vikings do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close