NBA

Adebayo excited about 'all-around great person' Love joining Heat

By Sports Desk February 20, 2023

Bam Adebayo is thrilled about the Miami Heat securing Kevin Love following his buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Love fills an urgent need for a shooter in the frontcourt, as he will slot in as the only player on the Heat roster taller than six-foot-five while averaging at least one made three-pointer per game.

The five-time All-Star is also leading the league this season in defensive rebounding percentage, but had found himself out of the Cavaliers' rotation leading into the All-Star break as they prioritised their youth.

Love, a champion in 2016 when his Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, is averaging career-lows in both points (8.5) and rebounds (6.8), but Adebayo believes he will bring value that extends beyond just his minutes on the floor.

"It's exciting. We've got fresh legs on the team," he said. "We've got a guy like Kevin Love, who has been through those wars, came back from 3-1.

"You've got a battle-tested guy like that who has won – it's big for us. He's really underrated as a team player.

"He's underrated for what he does. I know what he'll bring to our team will make us more successful."

Adebayo has spent time with Love previously as they trained together with Team USA in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympic Games.

He went on to compare Love to Heat stalwart Udonis Haslem, with the 42-year-old now in his 20th season in Miami, providing leadership from the bench despite only actually playing in 17 combined games since the end of the 2018-19 season.

"[Love is] smart, he stretches the floor, and you can learn from a guy like that, having a guy like that in your corner," Adebayo said. "Him and 'UD', two different walks of life, but now they're kind of going down the same road. 

"Having guys like that, it'll help me tremendously. He's an all-around great person."

Miami will come out of the All-Star break sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference with a record of 32-27.

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