Thursday October 20th, 2016

When Kevin Love was charged with stopping Steph Curry from scoring in the final seconds of Game 7 of the NBA Finals, his friend Tyler Kandel, watching the game from a bar in New York, knew Love could be counted on to save the Cavaliers' chance for a championship. 

He had saved Kandel's life in 2008. 

In a profile on Love written for The Crossover, SI's Lee Jenkins recounts the night in September 2008 when Love, Kandel and another friend, Josh Shipp, went out to celebrate one of their last nights living in the same city. It nearly ended up being the last night of Kandel's life, until Love intervened.

"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 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."

In the ambulance, an EMT told Kandel that whoever had tied his tourniquet had saved his life because it would have taken just a few more minutes for him to bleed to death.

Read Jenkins's full story here.

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