BOSTON (CBS) — Kevin Love’s first trip to the postseason was ended prematurely by Kelly Olynyk last week and the Cavs power forward is still seething about it, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarnowski.
Love suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder during Cleveland’s first-round series against the Celtics after he got tangled up with Olynyk in Game 4 while fighting to grab a loose ball. Love told reporters after that contest he believed the second-year Celtics center purposefully injured him in the exchange. Olynyk denied that accusation, but has been shot down in his attempts to reach out to Love, according to Wojnarowski.READ MORE: Keller @ Large: Talks Drag Over Infrastructure Bill, But One Side Has The Upper Hand
Boston Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk and his representatives have continued to deliver word to Love and people close to him that Olynyk wants to privately apologize to him, sources told Yahoo Sports. Olynyk wants to tell Love personally that he never intended to injure him in Game 4 of that series, that he’s sorry for the shoulder surgery that’ll cost Love six months. Strangely, Love continues to rebuff Olynyk. He isn’t interested in the call, refusing to ease Olynyk’s guilt.
Olynyk was suspended for one game by the league last week for the questionable foul on Love, but Danny Ainge and other members of the Celtics organization continue to defend Olynyk’s actions on the play.
“I think that [Love’s comments were] a little bit over the top,” Ainge said last Thursday. “It’s understandable in the heat of the battle. I feel bad for Kevin Love, because he’s waited a long time to get where their team is right now, and now he doesn’t get a chance to play.
“I certainly don’t think that Kelly did it on purpose. I don’t even think that that play would have been reviewed more than a foul had Kevin not gotten hurt, but because Kevin did get hurt, the league does evaluate those situations.”READ MORE: Plans To Rebuild Norwood Hospital In The Works After Floods Destroyed Building One Year Ago
Love is expected to miss four-to-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. He has a player option for next season, but his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers remains uncertain heading into the summer.
All of this leads up to a couple lingering concerns for Celtics fans. First, for those that dream Love will take a look at Boston if he elects to become a free agent this summer, this situation continues to be bad news. The fact that Love reportedly still holds so much bad blood towards Olynyk a couple of weeks after the incident makes me believe that this is guy who likes to hold a grudge.
Ainge would surely be happy to ship the seven-footer out of town if that’s what it took to get Love to be interested in playing for the Celtics in the future, but even then, you have to wonder if the situation has soured Love on Boston altogether.
As Ainge said, it’s an unfortunate situation, but Love needs to realize to get off his high horse. Love was doing the same kind of holding that Olynyk got caught for earlier in the game, so it’s a two-way street. Olynyk does not have a track record of trying to hurt anyone, so to rebuff a guy weeks later just seems cold. A look at Love’s own track record of on-court behavior does not put him in a positive light either.
Olynyk made a mistake and he got punished for it. Now it’s time for everyone to move on, and it’s on Love to let that happen.MORE NEWS: Canton Woman Pleads Guilty In Romance Scam
Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to NBA.com, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.