Even though the Kyrie Irving trade is 100% complete, there still seems to be drama surrounding the manner in which Kyrie left Cleveland.
FOX Sports analyst Jason Whitlock, who has made headlines before for his controversial opinions and hot takes, believes that retired Laker Kobe Bryant influenced Kyrie Irving to request a trade out of Cleveland.
"I think Kyrie Irving has idolized Kobe Bryant... I think Kobe has been in his ear this entire time, 'Get your own team, get your own franchise, this guy doesn't appreciate you, I had to make a tough call with Shaq, you make a tough call with LeBron.'"
So basically, what Whitlock is trying to convey here is that Kobe has spoken to Kyrie, mentioning how mistreated he is playing in LeBron's shadow, and how much better off he'd be leading his own team. But what for? Does the Black Mamba see a bit of himself in Kyrie? Perhaps Bryant is subtly trying to sabotage LeBron's legacy? According to Whitlock, that's exactly why.
Of course, LeBron and Kobe never really had legitimate hatred for each other, as it was mostly a media-created rivalry as both players were playing close to their peak at the same time in opposite conferences. But Whitlock could be onto something when he said Kobe doesn't want LeBron to catch him in rings. NBA fans everywhere are comparing James to Michael Jordan, completely skipping over the argument that is LeBron over Bryant.
"Kobe is saying, I got five rings, you have to pass me first."
Other than that inkling of sense, Jason Whitlock is reaching for plenty of straws with this story. I for one, cannot imagine Kobe pressuring Kyrie into leaving the Cavs just so LeBron has a tougher time winning championships. Then again, this is Kobe Bryant we're talking about.