The Cleveland Cavaliers begin their NBA championship defense Saturday. The reigning champs enter the postseason with more questions than answers, however, as the team has struggled down the stretch, falling to the No. 2 seed in the East behind the Celtics. While the Cavs have looked shaky, we've learned time and time again that they seem to love chaos, if not thrive in it. This was clearly evident in last year's NBA Finals when they overcame a 3-1 deficit to the Warriors.
In particular, Kevin Love knows all too well about drama. Hell, every few months his name popped up in trade rumors, even after helping the Cavs win a title. That's the name of the game, and the Cavs are well aware of it. We were able to connect with Love during a recent Kids Foot Locker event in Cleveland to talk to him about the Cavs' prospects for the playoffs, flipping the switch, chaos, coaching the youth, and much more.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Do you guys actually buy into the "Flip the Switch" notion?
I don't know if we like to think like that, but I know we are capable of flipping the switch, sort to speak, but we've been talking about the last couple of weeks of developing good habits and putting together good basketball. There is a certain level of basketball that we can play and we can say, "This is how we want to play on the defensive end, offensive end." I think more than anything, good habits and making sure we're ready to go for the real thing here.
What would you say is the biggest thing for you guys heading into the playoffs with a chance to repeat?
I would say first and foremost health, but then on the defensive end, if we let our defense dictate what we do on the other end we're so much of a better team. Getting the ball out to Kyrie or 'Bron and letting them take it down the court and either getting into the paint or spread it out for a 3-point shot or head into a pick-n-roll. It's really tough to stop when we play at such great pace.
Do you guys actually thrive in chaos like it seems?
I don't know [Laughs]. I guess it follows us, but we somehow manage to keep it altogether. I think definitely without a little chaos we're not the Cleveland Cavaliers so we've always found a way to make it work and to make it interesting. It's also good for you guys and for TV, too.
What drew you to working with the youth at Kids Foot Locker?
I think more than anything was just working with kids. Kids Foot Locker put together a six-week program to help kids get active, play, and be healthy and just get out there and move. For me, I'm so into health and wellness. It was a kind of a no-brainer to work with them and the younger demographic and try and have a very positive influence.
Does working with kids make you want to be a coach some day?
I don't see myself transitioning into it. I'll never put anything off like that, but it's different though working with kids. They're so eager to learn. They want to work with someone they look up to and it's a lot of fun.
Any plans to teach some kids the Kevin Love outlet pass?
I don't know (laughs). I'll definitely teach them some of the skills but that outlet pass, I don't know if it's something you're able to teach or learn. I think you have it or you don't.