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30 things to love about Cleveland Cavaliers F Kevin Love on his 30th birthday

On Friday, Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love turned 30-years-old.

On Friday, the most recent player in NBA history to record a 30-point, 30-rebound game turned 30-years-old.

And with Kevin Love entering his third decade on Earth, what better way to celebrate him than with a list of 30 things to love about the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward?

So put on your best Banana Republic, or your favorite No. 0 jersey and enjoy this journey through all things Kevin Love.

30. 30-30

As previously noted Love is the last player in NBA history to record a 30-30 game, doing so as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010, doing so by scoring 31 points and grabbing 31 rebounds against the New York Knicks.

In what very well may have been the breakout performance of his career, Love's 30-30 box score was the NBA's first since Moses Malone's in 1982.

29. The Andrew Wiggins Trade

In what remains one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent NBA memory, the Cavs acquired Love from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for former No. 1 overall picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, as well Thaddeus Young (by way of the Philadelphia 76ers).

Since coming to Cleveland, Love -- who was then in the final year of his contract -- has signed two extensions, made two All-Star teams and helped lead the Cavs to their first championship in Franchise history. Meanwhile, Wiggins -- the other key piece of the trade -- now possesses what many consider to be one of the worst contracts in all of basketball.

28. His bromances

Although Love initially had a habit of keeping to himself upon arriving in Cleveland, he began to come out of his shell following the acquisitions of Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. What followed was one of the best bromances in NBA history, which is still continuing to this day following the re-acquisition of Frye.

27. His UCLA facility

Despite spending just one year as a Bruin, Love maintains a strong presence on the campus of his alma mater, UCLA. In 2016, Love provided the school with a $1 million donation, which helped to build the Kevin Love Strength and Conditioning Center.

26. His Most Improved Player Award

After a steady start to his NBA career, Love made a sizable jump in the 2010-11 season, averaging 20.2 points and a league-best 15.2 rebounds per game. With that, Love was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, doing so in the same season he earned his first of five All-Star Game selections.

25. His body transformation

Coming out of college, one of the biggest questions concerning the then-6-foot-10, 260-pound Love was his weight. Not only has he managed to drop nine pounds since entering the league, but as you can tell from the pictures below, the ESPN The Magazine 'Body Issue' alum is now carrying that weight in a much different manner.

24. His (old) billboard

Not only did 2014 bring the resurrection of the LeBron James billboard on the side of the Sherwin Williams building, but it also led to the arrival of a rather awesome Starter banner featuring Love in the heart of Downtown Cleveland.

23. His acting

Although Love has yet to make the leap to the silver screen, he does lay claim to to cameos on TV shows such as "Entourage" and "The Suite Life on Deck."

22. His kicks

Big man shoes aren't typically known for their style. Since making the switch to Nike early in his Cleveland career, however, Love's kicks might be the exception to the rule.

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: © Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

21. His middle name

Love's middle name is "Wesley" -- after his father, Stan Love's -- former teammate and Hall of Fame center Wes Unseld.

20. Dropping dimes

19. His self-deprecating humor

Despite experiencing his fair share of ups and downs throughout his Cleveland tenure, Love has typically managed to maintain a positive outlook -- at least publicly.

Such was the case earlier this year, when ESPN's Rachel Nichols asked him about his upcoming clothing line (more on that later). Asked if he was a "fall" in reference to the season his line will release, Love replied: "I’m a fall guy … in every way. It makes perfect sense.”

18. His 34-point quarter

On the night before Thanksgiving in 2016, Love gave Cavs fans plenty to be thankful for, scoring 34 points against the Portland Trail Blazers -- in the first quarter alone.

Love's 34 points were the most ever scored in an opening period and the second-most scored in any quarter, ever. He'd go on to finish the game with 40 points in what was ultimately a 137-125 Cavs win.

17. His Gold Medal

Although they didn't join the same NBA team until four years ago, 2014 didn't mark the first time Love and James teamed up. Both playing key roles on Team USA in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the future Cavs teammates helped lead their country to a gold medal, with Love averaging 11.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in eight games.

16. His long-range

After entering the league as a traditional post player, Love has expanded his game -- and his shooting range. Dating back to the 2013-14 campaign, Love has never attempted fewer than 330 3-pointers for a single season, laying claim to a career .370 shooting percentage from long range.

15. His rebounding

But while scoring may get the headlines, rebounding has always been Love's calling card.

In six of the 10 seasons that have comprised his NBA career, Love has averaged double-digit boards, including an NBA-best 15.2 in 2010-11. Entering his 11th season, Love ranks 98th all-time in rebounding with 7,158.

14. His 5 All-Star selections

Love has earned All-Star honors in half of his seasons in the league -- two selections of which have come during his time in Cleveland. Unfortunately, injuries have prevented Love from representing the Cavs at the biggest exhibition of the year, where he lays claim to an average of 10.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in three games.

13. His Twitter account

Although he doesn't tweet often, when he does, he makes it count. That was evident one year ago, when he took a swipe back at Barstool Sports for mocking him in a viral video a white kid attempting to "dab."

12. His press conferences

Social media isn't the only place where Love lets his personality shine.

While his demeanor is typically reserved, postgame press conferences have revealed that his comedic timing is some of the best in the NBA. Need proof? Look no further than this clip from after the Cavs' Eastern Conference Finals-clinching victory in 2016.

11. His pre-game fashion

In this case, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

10. His jersey number

Upon arriving in Cleveland, Love was unable to wear the same number he wore in high school, college and Minnesota, with No. 42 hanging in the Cavs' rafters to honor Nate Thurmond. Instead, Love opted to wear the rarely worn No. 0, offering the following explanation for his digit choice:

“I went all the way back to my grassroots, and my first number I ever played with,” he said at his introductory press conference. “I remembered showing up to a game in Beaverton, Oregon with a brand new team…I was the last guy to the gym for the tournament and there was the zero for me. That’s the story behind it. I just decided zero was the right fit for me and it really brings me back to Portland, which is Oregon. The “O” as [David Griffin] told me later…when I told him which number I was going to choose; he said, ‘You can’t forget Ohio, too,’ and he's right.”

9. He once saved his friend's life

In his 2016 profile of Love for Sports Illustrated, Lee Jenkins revealed that Love -- the son of a nurse -- once helped save the life of a friend who suffered a serious cut on the UCLA campus.

"Halfway down the hill, they paused. [Josh] Kandel held a 40-ounce bottle of Olde English malt liquor in his left hand. Shipp was carrying his own bottle as well. Kandel, messing with his buddy, wound up to kick [Josh] Shipp’s bottle. It was as if he slipped on a banana peel. “I flew up in the air,” Kandel recalls, “and my left leg went under me.” Love and Shipp cracked up as Kandel landed on his back. They did not realize that Kandel’s bottle had shattered in the fall and glass had sliced his left wrist. Kandel reflexively covered the cut with his right hand. As he released it, to check the wound, blood spewed onto the street. “I could see inside my hand, inside my wrist,” Kandel says. “The artery was split wide open.”

"The laughter stopped. Kandel heard Love scream at Shipp to call the police. “You aren’t going to die tonight,” Love said. Kandel was wearing a black T-shirt, and Love tore it from his chest. Love’s mother, Karen, worked as a nurse at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland when he was growing up. He had never made a tourniquet, but he had seen it done before. Kandel yowled as Love tied the shirt into a knot around his wrist. “That was the most painful part,” Kandel remembers.

As the ambulance rushed Kandel to UCLA Medical Center, EMTs asked him who tied the tourniquet. Kandel looked down at his green Tretorn hightops, the white toe caps stained red, and mumbled something about a friend. “Whoever it was,” one EMT said, “just saved your life.” A few more minutes, they estimated, and Kandel would have bled to death. "

8. His beard

A former baby face, it isn't often Love is spotted without his signature beard. Although when it comes to his best facial feature, everybody seems to have their own opinion on the 5-time All-Star.

7. His Banana Republic line

After serving as an endorser for the brand since 2014, Love will release his very first line for Banana Republic later this month.

The line, titled BR/K.Love-18, will hit stores on Sept. 18 and feature clothing "inspired by Banana Republic's utility heritage with a twist of Love's favorite tailored performance pieces, highlighting his personal style grounded in American sportswear."

6. He's still in Cleveland

Despite having been linked to trade rumors almost immediately since arriving in Cleveland, Love not only outlasted both James and Kyrie Irving -- he recently signed a 4-year, $120 million extension with the team, securing his status as the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future.

“When I first came to Cleveland, I came with a long-term mindset,” Love said in July. “I came here to win. We developed a culture here that reflects that. I’m super excited and I couldn’t be happier."

5. His post-championship celebration

Several images standout from the Cavs' Game 7 victory over the Golden State Warriors to win the 2016 NBA title. One of the most memorable came in the form of Love's postgame locker room celebration, in which he donned a WWE 'Austin 3:16' t-shirt, while smashing beers together like Stone Cold said so.

4. Lil' Kev

Out of the bromance between Love, Jefferson and Frye, one of the most memorable -- and unlikely -- symbols of the Cavs' 2016 postseason run was born.

Finding a model in a Tommy Bahama ad that resembled Love, the Cavs somehow managed to make a celebrity out of a magazine page.

3. Outlet passes

Forget the dimes, the dunks and the boards. When Love retires, the signature play of Love's career will likely be his outlet passes.

2. His advocacy

Earlier this year, Love's career took on a whole new meaning. Penning an essay for The Players' Tribune, Love revealed his battles with mental health, which included a panic attack he suffered during a game last November.

"Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are," Love wrote. "This is an everyone thing. No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside."

In the months since, Love has become one of the most public advocates for mental health. In many ways, it's something that's come to define his public image every bit as much as basketball has.

1. The Stop

With less than 40 seconds remaining and the Cavaliers leading 92-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, Love switched onto reigning 2-time MVP Stephen Curry for the most pivotal play of his career.

As Curry tried to shake free, Love -- not known as a lockdown defender -- stuck with him, forcing the Warriors star into a tough shot -- a miss -- as Cleveland secured its first major championship in 52 years.

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