Kevin Love discusses Regent Cavaliers, why Evan Mobili is the best rookie of the year

Kevin Love has seen a lot during his tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is in the title team, and more recently, the teams that went down in the lottery. Now, he’s working as a key contributor to a young Cavs squad that is once again climbing the controversy. They have sealed their first winning season since 2017-18, and will look to secure a post-season berth through a play-in tournament later this month.

In the meantime, Love has found a few minutes to talk with CBS Sports about the Upstart Cavs and their impressive rookie, advanced Eastern Conference, its new partnership with the Milk-sisters, among other things.

CBS Sports: I wanted to start by asking you about your new partnership with Milk-Sister and how it happened. Was it just as easy as you being a dog guy?

Kevin Profit: It really comes from Vestri [Love’s Vizsla] Being a star is like an extension of our family. Milk-sisters celebrate their dogs and Vestri honestly loves their treats. For them, launching birthday cake biscuits, which is why we’re here today, and these treats are good for her, she loves them, it’s a one percent mix of the two of us getting together. And I can sit here and talk about my best friend, so it’s nice.

CBS: I could talk to you about dogs all day, but I think my editors might be a little annoyed if I didn’t go to court. So, I wanted to ask you how much fun it was for you to be part of this revived Cavs team after several tough seasons in Cleveland?

Love: It has been amazing, especially to be around a group of people who celebrate each other as much as we do. Just being around the coach, obviously JB [Bickerstaff], Whom I have known since my first three seasons at the NBA. Colby Altman in the front office, whom I have known since I came here in 2014-15. And seeing Evan Mobley come into his own at the age of 20, is going to be the best rookie of the year. Darius Garland is taking the next step, becoming an all-star, a guy who’s going to be a superstar in this league, and Jarrett Allen, whom I know is out now, but he’s been consistent and great for us all year long.

Literally different guys are moving forward, playing with freedom, letting themselves grow in what we are trying to do. And we’re really establishing a culture that we’ve been trying to create for the last three years. Eventually it felt like it was set again, our single day growth mentality has become something that is exciting to go to work, and go inside and try and get better. So, it has been amazing.

I’ve seen everything from the championship run here in Cleveland, to the final run, to the bottom of the Eastern Conference and NBA standings, now to the record of straight wins for the season. There is something to be said for this, especially the injuries we have suffered and so on [considering] Where people predicted the end of our year.

CBS: You guys of course the season has been one of the wonderful positive stories. That being said, what you think is the title in your ceiling playoffs [or play-in tournament, at least] Relatively young team this season?

Love: I think if we’re complete, I don’t want to put a ceiling on us, because I think in a seven-match series, the way we defend and the way we play on the half court can make it. Really hard for the team. Matchups also play a huge part in this. I think the play-off experience is, in general, the best for a young team.

It’s not just about going to the play-in game, where we’re in the Seven Seeds right now, but actually going through the play-offs and going through a seven-game series, and playing at least four games, and going off-season hungry for more. I think it’s a win-win, we’ve won one round, we’ve won a few rounds, we’ve gone as far as possible or we’ve got that first taste and we want more and go into offseason.

So, I think there is something much better about it. And as an experienced person, I just want it to be very bad, not just for the team, just to see the whole organization in the next stage of our evolution and the team we set up now because we are balanced and well built for a very long time.

CBS: I think that’s the reality [the Cavaliers] The seventh position in the Eastern Conference standings indicates how strong the conference is this season. Indeed, many media members have said that the balance of power has shifted from west to east, or that the East is at least a deep conference this season. Do you agree with that?

Love: Yeah, I think the teams at the top of the Eastern Conference … it’s very competitive at the top. I mean, you had Boston who didn’t go from play-in-game until before the season [near the top of the standings]. What they have done is incredible.

A Miami hit team who, with their culture, stay on top every season. Milwaukee joins defending champ, 76ers, James Harden with MVP [Joel] MBD You have the Chicago Bulls, who have really made a resurgence and obviously have high-level superstar players. And then you have a team like Toronto. You want to be healthy and you want to play and be on the right track at the right time and they certainly are. [Pascal] Siakam is ringing from his mind. So is Fred Vanvalit, and they have a championship-type pedigree.

And then you have seven, eight, nine, 10 teams who are extremely talented and I don’t know if I want to face a team like Brooklyn in the world in a series of seven games or obviously ours. [Cleveland]. What LaMelo [Ball] Has been able to [in Charlotte], They are a scary team because they have a lot of talent. From one to 10, there are a lot of teams that can really do a splash and do some great things. There is still a lot of talent in the Western Conference. From 10 to 10 in the Eastern Conference it seems, it can be a strong team and go up and down in the standings, as you have seen.

CBS: You touched it a little while ago, but as a guy who stays in the locker room with her every day, I want you to tell me why Ivan Mobili should win the best rookie of the year.

Love: I think continuity. I obviously have a lot of respect [Scottie] Burns and what he did. He’s been going to be a very, very good player for a long time and I don’t even know if, with his raw talent, he has really scratched the surface of how good he can be. Cad Cunningham, the same thing. I think he’s going to take big steps.

But, I think Evan has just maintained consistency. Defensive end, offensive end. He stepped up when Jarrett Allen was out, or there were different people in and out of our lineup. He has just been a steady force. Throughout the season he really hit a rookie wall. I have seen a lot of Rockies come into this league and he has a chance to be very special. I think he proved that he is the best rookie of the year. But again, he has really good company with the boys at the very top of his class.

CBS: We saved the most important question for the end, so it goes here. Are you and LeBron still cool? The poster dunk last month? Is he still invited to your upcoming wedding?

Love: [Laughs] He asked me before I put him in that headlock, literally just before halftime. He said, “Man, get out of this curse! What do you think? ”

We had a good laugh about it. He’s one of those guys who, just because of his athletes and his output and strength, is what he’s been able to do in the 82-game season of his career. [is incredible]. Again, he may be the greatest player of all time, totally GOAT, but as long as he has been doing this for so many years, it’s not even controversial. So again, it’s incredible with what he’s been able to do. We saw each other after the game. She’ll be married, but you know, let me know. That shit is no longer moving.

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