Shannon Sharpe explains why Kevin Love is not to blame for the conflict in Cleveland

In a discussion with Skip Bayless and Joy Taylor, Shannon Sharpe explains why the issues surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers are bigger than Kevin Love.

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- We've seen situations where we've seen family members get into it, and they say the argument started about a piece of chicken. Or two homeboys get into a fight about a PlayStation game. That was the final straw, but that wasn't the major issue.

They have been struggling. There is a lot of issues going on with this team. In order for someone to feel comfortable to walk into the door and voice their frustration, someone had to give them something. And Kevin Love was that someone that gave them the something.

Now, Kevin Love says he was under the weather, he didn't feel good, he felt light-headed. He played, I think, a little over three minutes in the ball game. So he goes to the locker room. He gets dressed and leaves. I don't know why they would want him to stay, if he's sick. He's not going to play in the game, so he can watch the game on television. I mean, I guess they wanted him there for support. Whatever the case may be.

- And he did miss the next day's practice.

- He missed the next day. Skip, this is not about Kevin Love being sick and not playing.

- I agree.

- There is more underlying issues. This was the end, in order for everybody to be able to come to the table and say, well, I've got a problem with this. I've got a problem with Isaiah taking all these bad shots. I've got a problem with LeBron not playing any defense. I've got a problem with Jae Crowder. I got a-- everybody has an opportunity now, because everybody was just waiting for that one time, the one opportunity to voice their frustrations.

- Yep.

- Skip, '97, we went through a similar situation, the Monday night when Bill Romanowski, my teammate--

- You just talked about it.

- --spit in J.J. Stokes' face.

- Gee, that was a flashpoint. That's a north or south moment for the whole team.

- But here's the thing, Skip-- that was our fourth game that we had lost in a row. And so, see, that was what we needed to get at, because we were frustrated.

There were some guys that weren't carrying their weight on the offensive side. There were some guys that weren't carrying their weight on the defensive side. Romo gave us the opportunity to have the team meeting, not only to address that issue, but to address what had been going on all along. But nobody wanted to talk about it, because, OK, come on, guys, I mean, who's going to be that guy that says, OK, this is the problem?

Romo gave us the opportunity to open the door, and then, here we come, walking in. Because Romo's issue wasn't the only thing that we talked about, Skip. So that's why I knew-- and I knew it all along. That's how I know there were bigger issues that needed to get resolved.

Withstanding, we go on. We don't lose another game. We win the Super Bowl.

- But that was a potential team-splitting, black-white issue, right?

- Yes. Yes. But we needed this to also talk about the other issues--

- I got it.

- --that was causing the friction that no one wanted to talk about.

Kevin Love, they needed this situation. They're losing, and they're losing bad, and it's not even close. And Kevin Love has not looked like Kevin Love since Isaiah got back.

- He has not.

- And I've said Kevin Love and Isaiah don't work together. Isaiah Thomas and the Cleveland Cavaliers don't work together. And unless something major is being-- they can't fix this. You got to go out, Skip.

They're blaming Kevin Love, but Kevin Love should be used to this, Skip. They've been blaming him-- every time they go through a rough patch, they've been blaming him since he got there. So he shouldn't be upset by this. They blame Kevin Love all the time. They blamed Kevin Love because Kelly Olynyk snatched his arm out of-- why you let him grab your arm like that to begin with? You know, it's one of those situations.

So Skip, for me, when you look at this, this isn't about Kevin Love being sick. This is not about them losing by 24 to-- there are a lot more issues. Kevin Love just gave them the opportunity. So now, everybody can come to the table and voice their concerns, or the issues, of what's going on with this football team.

Now, you can make it about Kevin Love, but this is bigger than Kevin Love. This is bigger than him being sick and leaving the arena. There's deeper, deeper issues.

- Oh, I agree.

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