Kevin Love came into the NBA as a modern Moses Malone with his bigger frame and ability to put up double doubles.
But Love decided to lose 25 pounds by changing his entire diet and workout regiment.
“I saw the way the game was going,” Love says. “It was getting smaller. Big guys were moving around and playing on the perimeter. Guys like that, who played inside-out, were really hard to guard.”
When Love was traded to the Cavaliers in 2014, Love lost even more weight down to 240 pounds.
“I thought we’d run, run, run, and I’d need to be really slender,” he says. “I got too skinny.”
Love vowed to gain more weight in the 2015 offseason but his shoulder injury derailed those plans.
Love received a lot of blame for the Cavaliers seemingly underachieving during the middle of last season.
“I don’t know how it happened, but he caught all the grief for everything, and it wasn’t fair,” said Tyronn Lue. “Guys like LeBron and Kyrie, they have the ball in their hands, and the bigs take what they can get. Everybody sacrifices, but Kevin sacrificed the most.”
David Griffin didn't want to trade Love but understood it might be the right option if he wanted to leave ahead of the 2016 trade deadline. Griffin approached Love on Feb. 10 in the trainer's' room but received a definitive answer from Love on wanting to stay.
“I want to be a champion,” said Love.
While the title was a relief to the people of Cleveland, it serves as a new motivator for Love.
“In a weird way, winning made me hungrier, like I have more to prove,” Love said. “It always comes back more to what I can’t do than what I can.”