The Cleveland Cavaliers are still trying to figure out the best optimization for Kyle Korver on the court. Off the court, it seems he couldn’t be a better fit. It’s rare to see a team react to a trade like the players of the Atlanta Hawks did when Korver was moved to Cleveland. He had been a huge part of some of the Hawks’ best teams, and even made an All-Star game. When you talk to him, you start to get the idea of why he was so valued down there. Fear the Sword spoke with Korver following the Cavs’ win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday afternoon.
Korver has been helping Tristan Thompson with his free throws, which have been a source of angst and struggle for the Canadian big. He was 5-5 from the line against the Thunder. Is that all on Korver?
“He made free throws before me. Working with technique and free throws is just something I enjoy. He’s really receptive, he’s really open to things that I’ve had to say. It takes time. You just gotta trust it, shoot the ball a little higher, let it come off his hand a little stronger. Just tinkering with a couple mechanics, see what feels comfortable to him.”
As much fun as he’s having, it doesn’t sound like a future in coaching is something on Korver’s radar:
Oh I don’t know. I don’t want to travel. I don’t want to be away from my family. But I do like helping the guys right now.
Fear the Sword asked Channing Frye last March what surprised him the most about joining the Cavs based on the outside perception. Frye gave a spirited defense of the Cavs chemistry, and the team’s title run vindicated his zeal. Korver acknowledged the outside view that perhaps the guys in the Cavs locker room weren’t all that tight, but didn’t endorse it. Instead, he said the most impressive thing about the Cavs that he had seen thus far was their practice work habits, starting with LeBron James.
I’ve enjoyed the professionalism of this group. We won the other night against Brooklyn, the next morning everyone is in there at least an hour early working on their bodies, working on their game. It’s not like coaches or management is making you do something, guys know their role and know what they have to do to be ready. I’ve been really impressed with, and it starts with, LeBron, and just how much he works on his body … that dude lifts weights like twice a day! It’s unbelievable to me to have that kind of energy and have as many minutes. His example trickles down to Kyrie and Kevin and everybody else. How hard everybody works.
This helps explain why LeBron James has been cantankerous with just about everyone except for individual Cavs players themselves. He’s not going to call out guys who are showing up to work and doing what they are supposed to do. He might grapple with their limitations as players, but he won’t have personal issues.
Korver also talked about how nice it was to be traded to the Cavs earlier on in the season as opposed to the trading deadline. He now has more time to learn his role and figure out where his shots will come from. Given his own professionalism, Korver is a great fit in the Cavs locker room. I don’t think it’ll be long until we start to see that payoff on the court.