No, LeBron James isn't best friends with Kevin Love. And yes, that's perfectly OK.
As media and fans try to split hairs over the uncertain chemistry between James and his new Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, LeBron isn't making any bones about it: They aren't best friends.
But that's not a diss.
"First of all, I’ve got three very good friends in this league, and that’s Carmelo [Anthony], and that’s C.P. [Chris Paul], and that’s D-Wade," James said, according to Cleveland.com. "And after that I have a bunch of teammates. I have guys I ride for every day."
James' comments were partially in response to Love saying that he and James weren't best friends. In that case, too, Love downplayed the implications of that non-friendship, saying that they got along as teammates.
James agrees that the friendship component of their relationship doesn't determine their on-court success.
"Kyrie [Irving] is a guy I understand how important he is to this team, how important he is," James said. "And the same with [Kevin] as well."
Earlier this month, Love said that his former UCLA teammate and current Oklahoma City Thunder star, Russell Westbrook, would be his pick for MVP. That rubbed some observers the wrong way, who saw it as a slight that he didn't pick his own teammate in James.
Again, James shrugged off those comments and said he didn't take them personally. And while it's true that their personal relationship has nothing to do with their on-court success and title aspirations, one can't help but wonder what it says about the long-term stability of the current Cavs roster.
Then again, James did ditch his self-proclaimed best friend this summer when he left Miami and Wade to play in Cleveland. Maybe it really is all about basketball.