Kevin Love's first workout back at Cavs' facility during coronavirus hiatus was 'odd' but 'uplifting'

While it was far from normal, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love was just happy to be playing basketball again.

Love showed up at the Cavaliers’ practice facility on Friday to workout, the first day that the NBA allowed teams to reopen practice facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Cleveland was one of just two teams that actually opened on Friday, along with the Portland Trail Blazers.

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“It was the longest I’ve ever gone without shooting a basketball,” Love said, via ESPN. “So I didn’t care. I just wanted to get some shots up.”

A modified workout

The league did implement several restrictions when allowing teams to open their facilities. Love said he was screened at the door before he was allowed to enter the Cavaliers’ practice facility through a side entrance, and had his temperature taken and logged.

“[They] asked us a few questions,” Love said, via ESPN. “How we’re feeling, if anybody has been sick in the house, if we’ve been sick if we’ve basically adhered to all the guidelines that are put in place, not only by the NBA but state to state.”

Once inside, Love was given his own half court to practice on with one assistant coach allowed to help him. Love worked with assistant coach Dan Geriot, who had to wear gloves and a mask. Only four players were allowed in the building at a time — Love was joined by Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic — and they all had to keep at least 12 feet apart.

Only parts of the facility were open, too. The locker rooms, Love said, were still closed.

“I changed my clothes and got out of there and showered at home,” Love said, via ESPN. “Which doesn’t bode well for a guy like me who sweats a lot.”

The Cavaliers were one of the first teams in the league to reopen their practice facility on Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cavaliers were one of the first teams in the league to reopen their practice facility on Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP/Tony Dejak)

It was ‘pretty uplifting’

The NBA still has no set plans to resume play after suspending it on March 11 due to the coronavirus. Several other teams will open their facilities next week, too, though others — like the Dallas Mavericks — will not despite stay-at-home orders ending in their markets.

There were more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Friday night, according to The New York Times, and more than 77,000 confirmed deaths attributed to the virus.

Teams are still not allowed to hold mandatory group workouts yet. Love, though, saw his workout on Friday as a dry run of sorts for what that can look like when the time does come.

And even though he admitted it was very weird, the break from the pandemic, he said, was just what he needed.

"I feel like anybody who needs an escape or in everyday life is looking for any type of normalcy back doing something they love," Love said, via ESPN. "For me, I played 25-ish years of organized basketball and this is the longest I've ever gone without touching [a basketball]. And it's something I really, really enjoy doing.

"So for me, it definitely was a big dopamine hit, and it just felt great to get in there and sweat outside of doing my workouts at home or getting on a treadmill. Going out there and having some sense of normalcy and getting on the court and actually shooting was pretty uplifting."

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