Cavs’ Kevin Love apologizes for bizarre turnover vs. Raptors: ‘My intent wasn’t to disrespect the game’

As part of a 13-minute monologue delivered to reporters on Wednesday, Cavaliers forward Kevin Love apologized for his behavior during Monday night’s game against the Raptors.

Late in the third quarter of Cleveland’s 112-96 loss, the five-time All-Star lazily slapped the ball into play on an inbounds pass, leading to a turnover and wide-open Toronto 3-pointer. Love, who did not take questions from media members on a Zoom call, described the play as a moment of “sheer frustration.”

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“I apologize for that moment,” Love said. “It was an ugly one. It was one that was not ill-intentioned.”

Love added that the emotions he was feeling had nothing to do with his coaches or teammates. His anger had built up for multiple reasons, including his inability to stay healthy in recent years and perform at a consistently high level. Love is averaging 11.7 points in 18 games this season, the lowest mark since his rookie year.

“I’m slightly broken-hearted because I have had the game taken away from me,” Love said. “I have missed games, and I feel a lot of guilt. … I’m so frustrated that I can’t be my full self right now for my teammates and that I can’t be better for them, and I think that was part of the moment of frustration that I had, that was a big part of it. And for that I apologize, too.”

The 32-year-old didn’t realize how bad the play looked until he watched a replay after the game, at which point he felt embarrassed and upset. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Tuesday that the Cavs handled the incident internally and were “focused on turning the page.”

“I love this team, first and foremost. I know that I f—ed up. I apologize for that,” Love said. “I don’t go out there intending to upset anybody, to embarrass myself, to embarrass the organization. Because I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself here. … My intent wasn’t to disrespect the game. My intent wasn’t even for the damn ball to go inbounds.

“It was a moment that I got caught up in. I didn’t even understand what really happened as the possession even played out.”

While he understands the criticism that he received, Love made it clear he only cares about what those inside the organization think of him.

“I know that I’m a good human being,” Love said. “I know in some cases that I’m misunderstood. And that’s fine. That’s fine. I love Cleveland. I f—ing rock with Cleveland till the day I die.”

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