Kevin Love used social media over the weekend to gush about another one of his Cleveland teammates, but it wasn’t LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith or any of the other individuals that played a major role on the court.

The tribute was to James Jones, the veteran shooting guard who only played 20 minutes, scored one point and had two assists in the NBA Finals.

Love, the former Timberwolves star, posted a photo on Instagram of he and James with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy and wrote “I’d like to tribute the best teammate I've ever had, James Jones aka Champ. You taught me more than you know the past 2 years— what it takes to win, how to be a better teammate, how to balance the good/bad off the court, and most importantly...putting team first. Sacrifice for the better of the team, and in order to lead sometimes you have to learn to follow. 

“You’ve been to 6 straight Finals. You’ve been the constant presence we needed in the locker room. You’re the ultimate work horse. The lessons you taught me will stay with me for the rest of my career and life after basketball.

“No one can avoid the ups and downs of the Playoffs, and when many wrote me off after a tough stretch in the Finals… you and the team stuck by me allowing me to flourish and make plays when it mattered most. Like you told me not too long ago, ‘don’t be afraid to be yourself.’ And now I’ll never be— thanks for everything.”

Jones, a three-time NBA champion, followed James to Cleveland after playing in four consecutive NBA Finals in Miami.

Love struggled throughout the Finals, but rallied for a standout effort in the clinching Game 7 victory at Golden State. He had 14 rebounds, nine points, three assists, two steals and a plus-19 rating in the finale. 
 

 

Those of you who know Champ will appreciate this... I’d like to tribute the best teammate I've ever had, James Jones aka Champ. You taught me more than you know the past 2 years— what it takes to win, how to be a better teammate, how to balance the good/bad off the court, and most importantly...putting team first. Sacrifice for the better of the team, and in order to lead sometimes you have to learn to follow. You’ve been to 6 straight Finals. You’ve been the constant presence we needed in the locker room. You’re the ultimate work horse. The lessons you taught me will stay with me for the rest of my career and life after basketball. No one can avoid the ups and downs of the Playoffs, and when many wrote me off after a tough stretch in the Finals… you and the team stuck by me allowing me to flourish and make plays when it mattered most. Like you told me not too long ago, “don’t be afraid to be yourself.” And now I’ll never be— thanks for everything. Keep being you Champ. ������-��

A photo posted by @kevinlove on

Older Post

Ten Minnesotans candidates for U.S. junior hockey team

Newer Post

Minnesota athletes react to Philando Castile's death