Kevin Love is interested in playing for his “hometown” team, the Portland Trail Blazers. The Cleveland Cavaliers forward talked about his affinity for the Blazers with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on the latest Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast. Haynes also posted an article on Yahoo Sports, summarizing the interaction.
In the interview, Love made reference to his roots in Portland, acknowledging that his career is winding down, and that such things have allure. He also cited the special appeal of playing alongside Blazers star Damian Lillard.
“Who wouldn’t want to play with Dame Lillard, first of all,” Love said on “Posted Up.” “Dame, he’s special. He’s amazing. I claim Portland when they ask me where I’m from...
Whether it be at the end of my career, whether it be in six months, or whatever it may be, if I was wearing a Portland jersey, that’s special. That’s playing at home.”
Love stated that he is also attracted by the team structure and culture in Portland.
“What’s the saying? ‘You want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.’ Obviously [Portland’s] a special place. I love CJ [McCollum]. Melo [Carmelo Anthony] has done an incredible job stepping in there and [coach] Terry Stotts. Portland has always had something special,”
Love goes on to cite the fans and his childhood memories as other reasons he considers the Rose City special.
The 32-year-old forward has played 13 seasons in the NBA, suiting up for the Minnesota Timberwolves as well as the Cavaliers. He carries an 18.0 ppg career scoring average with a 37.0% average from the three-point arc. He also has five NBA All-Star appearances and two nominations to All-NBA teams to his credit. He’s averaging only 11.5 points on 34.9% shooting from the arc over 21 games this season, however. His recent years have been plagued with injury and occasional controversy.
Love has two years remaining on his current contract. He’s scheduled to make $31.2 million in 2021-22 and $28.9 million in 2022-23. The Cavaliers would presumably buy out that contract before any serious talks about joining the Trail Blazers could take place.
If you wish to hear the actual podcast comments, they begin at the 32-minute mark of this episode.