The relationship between LeBron James and Kevin Love has been the subject of much scrutiny and dissection since the summer of 2014, when James went home to the Cavaliers and was followed by Love after a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Much of the uncertainty around their on-court fit has dissipated thanks to the Cavs winning a championship, which was the expressed purpose of the pairing in the first place.
Wednesday is Love’s 28th birthday, and James paid him tribute by posting a video on Instagram that features him singing “Happy Birthday” to a Sports Illustrated cover from Love’s UCLA days.
If this exact video had been posted six months ago, speculation would have been endless. Was LeBron subtweeting his teammate? Was he making fun of the SI cover in a mean-spirited way? Was his birthday wish sincere or not? Does this mean Love is going to get traded? Was the Love-for-Andrew Wiggins trade a mistake? What does it all mean?
Winning a championship has a way of making all of that stuff not matter. Love made one of the biggest defensive plays of the Finals on Stephen Curry near the end of Game 7. There’s no doubt that, in these circumstances, James’ birthday wish is sincere. Timing is everything.