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Report: Kevin Love Apologized to Cavaliers After Inbounding Pass to Raptors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love plays during an NBA basketball game, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Veteran forward Kevin Love reportedly apologized to his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates and coaches for his actions during Monday's 112-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors

Late in the third quarter of Monday's game, Love was supposed to inbound the ball, but he instead slapped it into play after the referee threw it to him, allowing the Raptors to gain possession and make a three-pointer:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

What is Kevin Love doing 😅 https://t.co/WpZP4UZJHL

That increased the Raptors lead from six to nine in what had been a tightly contested game.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Love apologized Monday night, and the Cavs plan to handle the matter internally.

Hayes added that Love didn't mean to inbound the ball to the Raptors, and noted the veteran big man slapped at the ball out of frustration with the officiating.

The 2020-21 season has been a frustrating one for Love and the Cavs as a whole with Cleveland sitting in 13th place in the Eastern Conference at 21-40.

Love has missed a significant amount time this season with a calf injury, but he returned to action at the start of April and has played in 14 consecutive games since then.

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In 18 games this season, including 18 starts, the 32-year-old veteran is averaging 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 three-pointers made.

Aside from reserve guard Matthew Dellavedova, Love is the last remnant from Cleveland's championship team in 2016, and the belief was that by keeping him around, he would be able to set a positive example for the younger players.

Plays like the one Love made Monday fly in the face of that notion, and it undoubtedly isn't something head coach J.B. Bickerstaff wants younger players like Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro to emulate.

Love is signed through the 2022-23 season, but one has to wonder whether the Cavs will make a concerted effort to find a taker for him on the trade market during the offseason.

When Love is playing well and being a leader, he remains the ideal type of veteran to keep around as a role player on a maturing team, however, his actions Monday didn't reflect that part of him.

In addition to being a one-time NBA champion, Love is a five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection who owns career averages of 18.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.7 trifectas made per contest.

Love could still be a valuable piece for any number of NBA teams, assuming what occurred Monday was merely an isolated incident.

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