Love gives Celtics' Kelly Olynyk the cold shoulder
Too soon for the pun? I feel bad about it a little bit but Kevin Love isn't exactly living up to his namesake – “Love” just doesn't seem fitting at this juncture.
As reported earlier this week, he's not planning to smoke a cigar with Kelly Olynyk any time soon – if ever. Love has publicly said he isn't taking Kelly's calls and claims a focus on rehab is the reason.
Oh yeah. I'm over it. I'm just trying to get healthy.
Is it crazy to think that part of "getting healthy" would include a conversation with Olynyk? Love’s decision to continue ice-ing him out – in my opinion – is childish. I don’t see any harm in at least listening to an apology. It doesn’t mean you necessarily accept said apology but maybe talking it out will bring some closure for the players involved? Perhaps Love is attempting to rob Olynyk of that process, the same way he probably feels Olynyk robbed him of his first playoff experience (and his summer as a free agent and his conditioning for next season). I don’t know. Maybe Love needs some time to digest what happened. I can appreciate that but still – take the man’s phone call. There’s no question that the not-likely-to-happen conversation would be awkward but it would also be the classy choice. I’m thankful Olynyk has chosen the high road in this ongoing debacle. As long as he continues down that path, he wins. Plain and simple.
Meanwhile, I can’t help but feel for Olynyk. I have this visual of him sitting in silence intently watching the Cavaliers/Bulls series on the edge of his seat, as if waiting for his own fate to unfold. Talk about riding a psychological roller coaster. He has to be rooting for Cleveland, right? Why? If the Cavs keep winning, they win without Love and therefore Olynyk won’t bear the burden that will likely surface, if they lose. We can all imagine the subplots (and subtweets): They lost because Olynyk hurt Love in Game 4. They lost because there was no Love. Olynyk is the Cavaliers' on-call fall guy. Pinning the blame on him in the event of their demise would prove an easy route. Just like an unwillingness to hear an apology is the easy route. It’s seemingly inevitable, unless of course Cleveland can keep winning.
If you’re with me in supporting Olynyk – I can’t believe I’m about to type these words but here they are – we’re cheering for Cleveland. It's a feasible way Kelly Olynyk’s name can be spared from future head game headlines. Root for Cleveland? Ugh. Never. Welp, never say never – I guess. This is paining me considerably to continue writing (nevermind the grief I’ll certainly get for encouraging this quest that has the qualities of a true turn coat) BUT we need to rally around our guy. This is beginning to sound like a pitch for an underdog running for Sr. Class President. I digress.
Steph sidebar: So, what needs to happen for Cleveland to win tonight and keep winning? Apparently, "the headband" needs to happen. LeBron James had 19 points and 6 turnovers in Cleveland's Game 1 loss against the Bulls without the headband. For Game 2 - wearing the headband - he turned in 33 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
James had 33 points on 29 shots, a forceful performance in the Cavaliers' 106-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls to bring this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals to 1-1. James hadn't taken so many shots in a playoff game since 2009, insisting that, 'I had to change my approach. We're shorthanded'.
I read that as: I, LeBron, credit the headband.
Oh and the headband has a name. Terry. Yes, Terry as in terry cloth. If my mini case for the headband helping LeBron win – so that Kelly Olynyk can not lose his mind – isn’t convincing enough for you, the headband stars in it’s own doc(mock)umentary.
Almost no one cares why it’s back. They’re just happy to see things back as they should be. But in case you were wondering, the Cavaliers made a funny little “30 for 30 Seconds” about LeBron’s headband. Whose name is Terry.
So, we’re going to need LeBron to wear that headband. “Terry” is the key to Kelly Olynyk's happiness (possible stretch). Hey, I’m all for this. I’d much rather root for a headband than an actual player on a team that I’d rather not root for AT ALL, ever. So there it is. Some awkward bandwagon shame might have just been avoided. I’m Team Terry. I’m just campaigning for an accessory, guys.
Game day headband, activate.
Getty Images | John Kuntz, Northeast Ohio Media Group | NBAE/Getty Images