Taylor wasn’t quite speaking in Comic Sans there, but closer than he had to be.—
Punch-Drunk Wolves (@PDWolves) August 26, 2014
“It was more like KG tanked it. I think the other guys still wanted to play. But it sure changed the team and didn’t make us [as good].”
–Glen Taylor, March 2008
“I question Kevin if this is going to be the best deal for him because I think he’s going to be the third player on the team. I don’t think he’s going to get a lot of credit if they do really well. I think he’ll get blame if they don’t do well. He’s around a couple guys that are awful good…
I think where maybe he got away with some stuff not playing defense on our team, I’m not sure that’s how it’s going to work in Cleveland. I would guess they’re going to ask him to play more defense and he’s foul prone…
If they sign him to a five-year contract like they’re thinking about, that’s a big contract on a guy that’s had some times he’s missed games. The only thing I still have a question mark about is health. I had that concern then (when they negotiated his previous contract) and I still have that concern. I think Cleveland should have that concern too.”
–Glen Taylor, August 26, 2014
Five quick thoughts about Glen Taylor’s now-public thoughts about Kevin Love:
1. On the part about “credit” and being a third option, I tend to agree with him. Love’s reputation is established as an individual and he has yet to fit into a successful team framework. On the Cavs, where a there’s a star point guard and greatest-of-his-generation forward, it’s reasonable to wonder exactly where Love falls on the pecking order. In his past two healthy seasons, Love has averaged over 26 points per game. Now, in a winning environment, that may drop 5 or more points per game. (Chris Bosh saw a 5.3 points per game drop when he jumped from Franchise Raptor to LeBron & Wade Sidekick in 2010.)
In regards to credit and blame, consider the win totals of teams LeBron James has played on over the past six years during Love’s career:
46 (in 66-game season)
It is well understood by now that, in the NBA in 2014, if you have LeBron James you are going to win a bunch of games. You’re going to make a deep playoff run. You might win a championship.
How then, can Love prove that he has any effect?
It will be difficult and it will probably require bigtime performances in big playoff games. While this is not exactly what Taylor said, I think he would agree with what I’m saying right here. Had Love gone to a different team — one that was still good, like Golden State, but did not have LeBron on it — he would have a better opportunity to boost his “legacy” for whatever that is worth. And in Love’s case, I think the impression that many have — certainly Taylor included — is that legacy and individual recognition are important to him.