About a week ago, Kevin Love told reporters that he expected to be with the Cavaliers next season. After Game 1, he doubled down on that when asked specifically whether he wanted to return to Cleveland. "Yes. I want to win," he told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
Love, who has a $16.7-million player option for the 2015-16 season, was ruled out for the playoffs with a shoulder injury suffered in the first round against the Celtics. Watching from the sidelines of Game 1, Love knows he could have played an important role.
"I'd rather be out there helping those guys, and I saw a lot of places where I could help," he said. "I've never wanted to be in a game more than that one."
This is Love's first trip to the postseason in his career and he said the playoff experience has influenced his desire to remain in Cleveland next year. He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds this season as the third option behind LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Following Love's injury, the Cavaliers reportedly had "legitimate fear" that the power forward would bail on Cleveland in free agency this summer. Rumors continue to swirl around him while the Cavaliers have made a run to the NBA Finals.
"It's just the way the world works now," Love said. "People talk so much and might tell themselves a lie so much they start to believe it. From there, the narrative starts to change. I haven't changed my narrative. I'm going to keep supporting these guys, and we'll be talking to Cleveland after the season."
Throughout the season, Love has said that he plans to remain with the Cavaliers. Even back in December, he told reporters his plans of picking up his option and staying with the Cavaliers.
Love was at the game in Oakland because he was cleared to travel with his shoulder injury last week.
"I just texted a couple friends of mine saying I've never been so into a game," he said. "That was fun to watch, besides the final score."
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