Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love just poured his heart out about his bizarre inbound play on Monday night ... admitting he knows he "f***ed up" and apologizing for his outburst.
32-year-old Love went viral for swatting away an inbound pass late in the 3rd quarter against the Toronto Raptors ... easily turning the ball over to the Raptors for a wide-open 3-pointer.
It appeared as if Love -- who's posting career-low numbers this season for the 21-40 Cavs -- had become fed up with the losing and just snapped.
But, the 2016 champ says that's simply not the case.
Love started off his media availability Wednesday morning with an emotional, 15-minute speech ... saying, "My intent wasn't to disrespect the game. My intent wasn't even for the damn ball to go inbounds. It was a moment that I got caught up in."
"I didn't even understand what really happened as the possession even played out. I think I was a little bit dumbfounded."
He added ... "I didn't realize how bad it looked, really, until after the game. I truly didn't ... After that, I just completely shut down. I never want that to be who I am. I don't want to have to be here and defend my character."
Love says he has apologized to his teammates for the outburst ... calling it a "moment of sheer frustration."
So, what caused the disastrous turnover?? Love says it stemmed from blown calls throughout the 112 to 96 loss.
"Not to say too much that could get me fined, but it was the officiating," Love told USA Today.
It's gotta be tough for Love -- he's averaging 11.7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 18 games this season -- and the glory days of the LeBron James-era are long gone.
Love says the moment was blown way out of proportion by the media ... and he really only cares about the opinions of his teammates.
"I take this one on the chin, naturally. I'll do that as a man, I'll do that as a teammate and continue to get better. That's really all I can do."
As for his relationship status with Cleveland?? Love makes it clear he's still their guy.
"I love Cleveland, I'll f***ing rock with Cleveland 'til the day I die."