Basketball: Kevin Love’s phone rang in July and LeBron James asked the All-Star forward if he wanted to play with him in Cleveland.
“I’m in,” Love told James.
For the long haul.
Getting used to a new city and new team after being acquired by the Cavaliers on Saturday, Love said he’s committed to winning an NBA title with the Cavaliers – however long it takes.
Love, who didn’t make the playoffs during six sometimes rocky seasons with Minnesota, can opt out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. But 25-year-old Love, regarded as the game’s top “spacing” forward, said he intends to stay with James and the Cavs.
“I’m committed to this team, committed long term to the end goal and that’s to win championships,” he said.
Love was introduced Tuesday by the Cavs, who acquired him in a blockbuster, three-team trade that instantly turned Cleveland, which won just 33 games last season, into an NBA championship favorite. The deal also gives the team a star-powered trio in Love, James and Kyrie Irving.
Love and James became friends two summers ago as U.S. Olympic teammates in London.
“I thought that one day maybe I could play with LeBron James,” he said.
The Cavs know nothing is certain, and there’s risk in bringing aboard Love. But with James, Love, Irving, guard Dion Waiters, relentless rebounder Anderson Varejao and newly signed veterans Shawn Marion, Mike Miller and James Jones, the Cavs have the makings of a championship team – this season and for many more to come.
• Davis leads U.S. to victory: Anthony Davis scored 18 points and teamed with forward Kenneth Faried to dominate the inside, leading the U.S. national team to a 101-71 victory over Slovenia at Las Palmas, Canary Islands, in its final exhibition game before the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
Faried finished with 14 points for the Americans, who next head to Bilbao, Spain for their tournament opener Saturday against Finland. The defending world champions will also face Turkey, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and Ukraine in pool play.
• Thunder trade Thabeet: The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded center Hasheem Thabeet and cash to the Philadelphia 76ers for a protected second-round draft pick in 2015 and a trade exception. . … The New Orleans Pelicans signed veteran small forward John Salmons to a free agent contract. … Small forward Jared Dudley is going to the Milwaukee Bucks. The seven-year veteran was dealt by the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for forward Carlos Delfino, backup center Miroslav Raduljica and a 2015 second-round draft pick. The Bucks are also receiving a conditional 2017 first-round pick.
Chicago eliminates Atlanta
WNBA: Elena Delle Donne scored 17 of her 34 points in the fourth quarter, including the winning jumper with 8.4 seconds left, as the visiting Chicago Sky rallied from 20 points down to beat the Atlanta Dream 81-80 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Tamera Young scored 16 points and Sylvia Fowles added 13 points and 15 rebounds as the Sky won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.
Stanford’s Montgomery ready
College football: Top wide receiver and All-America kick returner Ty Montgomery has been medically cleared to play in No. 11 Stanford’s season opener Saturday against UC Davis.
Montgomery had surgery on his right shoulder in February after playing with an injury part of last season. He also hurt a knee in the Cardinal’s loss to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, an injury Montgomery said was “minor.”
• Miller has surgery: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says that quarterback Braxton Miller’s surgery went well.
Miller, a two-time Big Ten player of the year, tore the labrum in his right throwing shoulder on Aug. 18 in practice. J.T. Barrett will start in place of Miller for the Buckeyes against Navy in Baltimore on Saturday.
Jones joins Revolution
Soccer: U.S. World Cup star Jermaine Jones is now a member of the New England Revolution.
The Revolution and the Chicago Fire both wanted Jones, and New England won the rights to sign him through a blind draw on Sunday.
Jones had a goal and an assist in four starts during the World Cup in Brazil.
• Manchester United loses: Manchester United’s miserable start under Louis van Gaal took another turn for the worse with a humiliating 4-0 loss at third-tier club MK Dons in the League Cup. … Hulk scored twice and 10-man Zenit St. Petersburg cruised into the Champions League group stage after beating Standard Liege 3-0. …. Algerian football club JS Kabylie has been banned from using its home stadium and could be thrown out of national and international competitions after one of its players was hit and killed by an object thrown by fans. … Frank Lampard has retired from England’s national team ahead of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship. The 36-year-old Lampard has scored 29 goals.
Degenkolb claims stage win
Cycling: German rider John Degenkolb outsprinted Vicente Reynes and race leader Michael Matthews to win a hot, sunny fourth stage of the Spanish Vuelta near Rdoba, Spain.