Timofey Mozgov is hardly a NBA villain, but he’s certainly added a much needed dash of toughness to the Cleveland Cavalier’s frontcourt nonetheless. Perhaps embracing his new role as (reluctant) enforcer of the league’s marquee team, the seven-foot Russian echoed Rocky IV antagonist – and not so thinly veiled Cold War allegory – Ivan Drago to assess the state of teammate Kevin Love after he suffered an eye abrasion: “If he dies, he dies.”
And here’s a stone-faced Drago (or actor Dolph Lundgren) doing all but openly encouraging the death of Apollo Creed in the fourth edition of the Rocky saga:
Is Mozgov’s quick wit more amusing than Drago’s unintentional hilarity? Not quite, but almost nothing could be.
Love sustained the injury during the third quarter of Cleveland’s blowout win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night when he was scratched by Mario Chalmers. He left the game immediately after the incident and never returned, later saying his vision was blurred for nearly half an hour.
“It was blurry for about 20, 30 minutes, but I was able to regain my vision and feel fine now,” Love said after the game. “So I’m just happy that we were able to sustain the lead and get the win.”
He said it was a scary moment.
“It always is,” he said. “That happens throughout the course of a season to a couple guys; it just happened to be me tonight.”
Love is listed as questionable for tonight’s pre- All-Star matchup with the Chicago Bulls. If Mozgov’s (sarcastic) assessment is to be believed, though, we highly, highly doubt he’ll suit up for the wine and gold.
The Cavs and Bulls tip-off from Chicago at 8:00 EST.
[Video via elwhiteo]