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Kevin Love is about the become the focal point of an NBA team for the second time.
Shawn Kemp did the same more than two decades ago.
The current and former Cavaliers’ stars crossed paths Thursday night in Los Angeles and Love took to Instagram and posted a picture of himself and Kemp, as reported by Ben Axelrod of WKYC.com.
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) July 19, 2018
In the caption, he wrote, “gotta little hot in LA…needed the Reign Man,” referring to Kemp by his nickname.
With LeBron James having left the Cavaliers for a second time, Love, a five-time All-Star, is expected to become the No. 1 option for coach Tyronn Lue’s squad, just as he was during his days with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kemp, also a five-time All-Star during his days with the Seattle SuperSonics, was acquired by the Cavaliers before the 1997 season in a three-team deal that had the Cleveland sending point guard Terrell Brandon to Milwaukee and the Bucks shipping Vin Baker to the Sonics.
In his first season in Cleveland, the first at the arena then known as Gund Arena, Kemp became a six-time All-Star, averaging 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocked shots, playing 34.6 minutes in 80 games and shooting 44.6 percent from the field. That season, he led the Cavaliers to the playoffs, losing a first-round series to the Indiana Pacers. Cleveland didn’t reach the postseason again until 2006.
For those who may not remember Kemp, he was a true high-flyer during his days with Seattle, where he was listed at 6-foot-10, 230 pounds. By the time he arrived in Cleveland, he had added as much as 40 pounds (or more) to his frame and had weight clauses in his contract, often paying hefty fines.
Here, though, are some highlights of Kemp during the height of his powers:
Kemp was traded by the Cavaliers to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2000 in another three-team trade. In his three seasons in Cleveland, Kemp averaged 18.5 points and 9.1 boards.
Here are some highlights of the player Kemp upon making his first appearance in Seattle, since being traded to Cleveland, with the great Michael Reghi and Matt Goukas on the call:
After leaving Cleveland, Kemp spent two seasons with Portland and one with Orlando, retiring after the 2002-03 season at age 33.
In his 14-season NBA career, Kemp averaged 14.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.2 blocked shots per game, shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 74.1 percent from the free-throw line.