The Cleveland Cavaliers announced on Saturday that they will be retiring Kevin Love’s jersey number.
Cavaliers’ general manager Koby Altman issued a statement to Twitter and said, “Kevin represented the organization and the city of Cleveland with the utmost charm and professionalism during his nine seasons in Northeast Ohio.” He added, “he also embodied everything a franchise would want in a player, and the admiration and gratitude we have for him will ultimately land his jersey in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.”
Love was released from the team Saturday after having his contract bought out.
No. 0 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sglcu6j2su
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 19, 2023
Following his buyout, Love tweeted “to the people of Cleveland and all of Ohio. I fucking LOVE you…and always will. Thank you for everything.”
I’ll have more to say soon but want to get this off my chest.
To the people of Cleveland and all of Ohio. I fucking LOVE you…and always will. Thank you for everything.
More to come. #0️⃣
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) February 18, 2023
Love had a great career with the Cavs and definitely deserves his jersey retired by the organization.
Love played a major role in Cleveland’s run to four straight NBA Finals from 2015 to 2018 and helped them win their one and only championship in franchise history during the 2015-2016 season against the Golden State Warriors. Along with that, Love was selected to two of his five career All Star games during his tenure with the club in 2017 and 2018, according to Pro Basketball Reference.
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The greatest play of his career in Cleveland was during game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals when he locked up the first ever unanimous MVP Stephen Curry in the final seconds and forced him to a missed three-point attempt. Cleveland was up 92-89 when Curry (the greatest three-point shooter in NBA history) had the ball and had Love on an isolated one-on-one. Love managed to keep his body in front of Curry and forced him to miss what would have been the game tying basket.
Love’s defense on Curry all but closed the deal on Cleveland winning their first title.
Never forget the Kevin Love Lockdown in Cleveland. ? pic.twitter.com/0PmL671lmg
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) February 16, 2023
Love’s contributions to the Cavaliers seemed to be overshadowed at times from playing alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, but he was always impactful each night he stepped onto the floor. Whether it was defensively, as a rebounder, or as a scorer, Love always left his imprint on the game. It’s highly unlikely that the Cavs would have ever won a championship without him.
It’s only right that Love’s no. 0 is being retired by the ballclub. He is a Cleveland legend!