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Kevin Love Retires From Team USA, But Not From NBA

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It’s been a tough stretch injury wise for Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who this past season played in 25 games, putting up 12.2 points per game when he was healthy enough to take the court.

Love battled injuries a good portion of the 2020-21 campaign and eventually decided to withdraw from Team USA because he felt that he wasn’t healthy enough to be able to contribute.

While Love is done with Team USA, he’s not ready to retire from the NBA yet.

The injury that is keeping Love from Team USA is the same injury that cost him most of last season with the Cavaliers, according to Cleveland.com. The power forward continues to suffer from a lingering right calf strain that limited him to just 25 games last season.

The 12.2 points per game on offense was the lowest in Love’s 15 year career in the NBA. He also averaged just 7.4 rebounds a night.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Love does eventually decide to hang up his sneakers and call it a career. The Cavs are not going anywhere, and at 32, Love may be ready to hang it up.

“I think I understand that probably being that No. 1 guy, playing 35 minutes and getting 20 touches a game, is probably in my rear view,” Love said not long ago.

“I don’t try to put a ceiling or limit on myself at all. So long as I’m feeling good, I know that I’m going to play good. I’m going to chase the game like I always have. But I do believe that if it’s asked for me to have to pivot in my career for a team to win, I’m more than I’m willing to do that.”

The Cavs owe Love $60.2 million over the next two years, and he certainly won’t want to walk away from that massive salary.

Cleveland will likely shop Love, but trading him with the salary he’s got is next to impossible, so it looks like they’ll be stuck with him for next year and the season after.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

2 Comments

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  1. basketball… when they move the goal to 12ft and reduce the size of the basket to 18″ (or less) I’ll get interested again… or when they start playing defense, but that ain’t NEVER gonna happen!

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