It won’t happen immediately. But one day in the future, Kevin Love will have his No. 0 jersey retired by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the team’s press release announcing Love’s contract buyout with the team, Cavs president of basketball operations said that “the admiration and gratitude we have for him will ultimately land his jersey in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
“Kevin Love had an outstanding run with the Cavaliers, including memorable on-court moments, four NBA Finals appearances and an NBA Championship in 2016,” said Altman. “Kevin represented the organization and the city of Cleveland with the utmost charm and professionalism during his nine seasons in Northeast Ohio. He also embodied everything a franchise would want in a player, and the admiration and gratitude we have for him will ultimately land his jersey in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. We thank Kevin for his impact and wish him nothing but the best, knowing that he has solidified his place in the hearts of Cavaliers fans and this organization forever.”
Whenever that happens, that will put Love in elite company. Only Bingo Smith (No. 7), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (No. 11), Larry Nance Sr. (No. 22), Mark Price (No. 25), Austin Carr (No. 34), Nate Thurmond (No. 42) and Brad Daugherty (No. 43) as Cavs with their jerseys retired. LeBron James will surely join that list one day with No. 23 going up in the rafters. And, if it’s up to Love, Kyrie Irving’s No. 2 will go up there as well.
The last Cavs jersey retirement was Ilgauskas’ in March 2014.