Kevin Love was fantastic in the Eastern Conference Finals, averaging 22.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game as the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced past the Boston Celtics. However, Love was not exactly the lead story in the aftermath of his team’s Game 5 victory, as the evening doubled as the point in which LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list.
Armed with that knowledge, Love initially turned down the opportunity to take the podium alongside James after the win, indicating the following to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“I just told (communications director) Tad (Carper) I wouldn’t share a podium with him because tonight is a night where he deserves to be on his own.”
For reference, Love has been a frequent podium inclusion during the playoffs, and his 15-point, 11-rebound performance certainly would have been worthy of a visit. Still, the veteran big man chose to defer to James, and it was clear that Love understood what the moment meant.
“I mentioned not taking things for granted. One of those nights. It was truly special to be a part of, and we knew it too. When we drew up the play in the timeout in the third quarter and he came out and he was shooting the ball so well, went in, and we’re celebrating it for him. It was big. Special.”