Kevin Love urges NBA players to pay it forward

Lindsey Wisniewski
NBC Sports Northwest

Kevin Love believes it's time for NBA players to step up. 

In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which led to the suspension of the NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward pledged to donate $100,000 through the Kevin Love Fund to support workers of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in downtown Cleveland. Love said he was concerned about the anxiety everyone is feeling and offered to help with the "sudden life shift" Cavs employees might be facing. 

On the "Today Show" Wednesday morning, Love shared why it was so important to get involved and why he thinks it's essential for other players in the league to join him. 

"You have people living paycheck to paycheck, so I felt this is really the time, especially for us NBA players to walk the walk and be more than just athletes," Love said. "We see people in the community, we see people working in our arena at least 41 nights a year, us playing home games. So, it was just a way for me to try and help navigate this stressful and incredibly anxiety-ridden time.

"To just pay it forward and really help them. It's been tough, just trying to normalize the conversation around what is going on. People are feeling a certain way about it, so I think it's more of a time for us to step up and be leaders, to be community leaders and do what is right for the people that are having a very stressful and tough time."

The Lake Oswego Lakers alum also sent this message to NBA Twitter on Tuesday evening, asking fans to practice empathy and compassion in a time where times are hard. Love said while it is importance for people to socially distance themselves, that doesn't mean socially isolate. 

"Nothing unites us like the same enemy," Love said in the video. "It's very powerful what we are able to do."

Other NBA owners and players have since publicly vowed to help compensate their communities in some way, including Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans. Hopefully more NBA players will follow Love's lead. 

Kevin Love urges NBA players to pay it forward originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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