LeBron James' decision to depart Cleveland for the second time and join the Los Angeles Lakers may have come as a surprise to some people but not his former teammate Kevin Love.
Having spent four years playing alongside the King, the power forward has developed a close relationship with him and has learned to understand his mental approach
The 29-year-old believes LeBron is always a few steps ahead of everybody else and was thinking that way when he chose to head to L.A.
Everything was mapped out
Although he didn't know exactly where James was going to sign, Love explained that he always had a hunch.
“I had somewhat of an idea," he said in an interview with ESPN. "I had, like everybody, weighed the options and had an idea of where he might go.
"I knew it was probably between Cleveland and Los Angeles. I think he’s always looking for a different challenge.
"He’s always wondering what’s next, and it feels like sometimes he’s playing chess and everybody else is playing checkers."
The three-time champion signed a four-year deal with the Lakers and seems committed to ending his career in one of the league's most glamorous markets.
He agreed a deal with Los Angeles just hours into free agency, which is an indication that his mind was already made up.
“He’s very, very mentally strong, knows the game of basketball so well, and sometimes there’s something he sees that other people don’t," Love added.
"So I think making it to four straight finals, him helping us the most in us winning a championship in 2016, I think he might’ve been looking for something different and a change — next chapter for him — and here we are.”
The duo had their chemistry issues early on during their time together in Ohio but they were able to move past it and win a title.
They developed a strong bond and will always be tied by their historic achievement with the Cavaliers.
While King James chose to head for pastures new, Love decided to commit his future to the Cavs.
He recently penned a four-year extension worth $120 million and LBJ was one of the first people to congratulate the five-time All-Star when the news broke.
With LeBron out of the picture, Love will now be the leader for Cleveland and can get back to being the offensive force he was early in his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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