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Kevin Love says it feels like LeBron James is ‘playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers’

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The Cavs forward also says he figured it would come down to Cleveland and Los Angeles for LeBron.

Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Three Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

With LeBron James gone, and a new contract extension signed, Kevin Love is now the face of the Cavs. And as he thinks about James’ decision to sign with the Lakers, he views it as James thinking ahead.

“I think he’s always looking for a different challenge,” Love said in an interview with ESPN. “He’s always wondering what’s next, and it feels like sometimes he’s playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers.”

Love also said that he had “somewhat of an idea” what James would do in free agency before James signed with the Lakers on July 1.

“Like everybody, I had weighed the options and had an idea of where he might go,” he said. “But I knew it was probably between Cleveland and Los Angeles.” Love added that with James having made four straight Finals with the Cavs, and having won the 2016 title, that may have been the reason he wanted a new challenge.

Love’s comments are not particularly revelatory. James told ESPN at his school opening in Akron that he was looking forward to the challenge of bringing the Lakers back to relevance. The comments do, however, indicate that this was a decision LeBron made without having conversations ahead of time with his now ex-teammates.

The full interview with Love — conducted by the legendary Jackie MacMullan — is not yet out. Love’s interview will be his first extended comments this summer aside from the press conference he and team held after he signed his contract extension on July 24.