A lot of people had felt pity for Kevin Love when his former co-stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving left him to become the lone star of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that won the 2016 NBA title. Love spent the entire 2018-19 season without his All-Star teammates, and even worse, he was limited to just 22 games due to injuries.
The following season, Love bounced back and played 56 productive games for the Cavs, finishing the campaign with 17.6 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists per outing. Some of us could reckon that the five-time All-Star may have realized that he had no choice but to continue playing and eventually did.
However, the truth is that something beyond basketball kept the positivity alive in Love.
Live life like Anthony Bourdain
During his media day session ahead of the 2019-20 season, Love revealed that a key factor that helped him resurge was traveling while adopting a quote from the late celebrity chef and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain.
Love didn’t read Bourdain’s exact quote, but he implied that it is about “being relentlessly curious without fear of prejudice.”
“I think it was just my curiosity,” Love said in 2019 via WKYC Studios. “I try to be a sponge in my growth, whether it’s on or off the floor. I’ve said the quote now a thousand times about Bourdain and that’s being relentlessly curious without fear of prejudice. And for me, I’ve tried to adopt that and live my life in that way and it’s been a lot of fun."
Love will prevail
Some may not know, but Love has been battling depression and anxiety even before entering the league.
Fortunately, the former UCLA star found a nice outlet in writing and even decided to share his decades-long dilemma with depression in a Player’s Tribune piece entitled “Everyone is Going Through Something.”
In his journaling, Love needed inspiration, and he didn’t run out of it as well. Aside from a Bourdain quote, Love’s grandmother also became a great source of motivation.
“I channel my grandma,” Love told CNBC Make It last year. “I was just talking about her with my brother: She lived vicariously through her family. She was a simple woman, and I mean that in the best way — she was just so grateful for everything that came her way, no matter how small. I try to really channel that.”
“And I mix gratitude with journaling,” he continued. “I think journaling fosters awareness. We get to write down our stories, no matter what they are. It’s almost childlike in that way. As adults, I feel like we’ve become very good liars. Your inner child will, more often than not, tell the truth and just be unapologetically honest.”
Love will not only go down in history as one of the most notable players of his generation. His resiliency and positive views in life will surely be a huge part of his legacy.