Well, this certainly tips the whole “LeBron vs. Kyrie” narrative on it’s head, doesn’t it?
The Cleveland Cavaliers have dearly been missing their former star point guard Kyrie Irving this season after trading him to the Boston Celtics before this year’s regular season began. There were many rumored reasons as to why Kyrie wanted to get out of Cleveland as quick as possible, including Irving becoming frustrated playing in LeBron James’ shadow, and wanting to lead his own team as the face of the franchise.
The rumors were never really settled, and were just forgotten about in the midst of the NBA’s regular season, as both Kyrie and LeBron had bigger issues on their plate — namely the Gordon Hayward injury for Kyrie and LeBron’s lack of a supporting cast in Cleveland.
But in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, LeBron has reignited the talk, mentioning that he actually tried to convince the Cavs front office not to trade Irving, via Brian Windhorst.
It has been widely reported that James was against the Cavs’ decision to acquiesce to Kyrie Irving’s trade request. For the first time publicly, James told Nichols that he did call management to ask them not to trade Irving.
“Even if you start back to the summertime where I felt like it was just bad for our franchise just to be able to trade away our superstar point guard,” James said. “A guy that I had been in so many battles with over the last three years and obviously I wasn’t a part of the communications and know exactly what went on between the two sides. But I just felt like it was bad timing for our team.”
In hindsight, the trade almost ruined Cleveland’s season, as what the Cavs got in return for Irving — an injured Isaiah Thomas, a non-existent Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brookyn’s 2018 first-round pick, which ended up landing at 8th in the lottery — almost made LeBron and the Cavaliers miss the postseason up until they cleared house at the trade deadline and transformed their roster.
Whatever the case, LeBron is sure to be missing Kyrie right about now, as he faces off against the Golden State Warriors for the fourth time in a row in the NBA Finals.