Let's face it: Former Cleveland Cavaliers and current Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving would much rather be out on the floor against his former team in the Eastern Conference Finals rather than on the bench in a suit watching his teammates do battle against LeBron James and Kevin Love. That's just a fact.
But according to former player and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, he thinks Irving would actually be rooting for his former team to beat the Celtics this series because he's unable to play.
"Anyone who says Kyrie Irving is cheering for the Celtics to win the Finals is lying."
Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cavaliers during this past offseason, with many suggesting the reason being Irving wanted to step out of LeBron James' shadow and lead his own team to the playoffs and beyond. Irving got his wish almost immediately, being shipped off to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick, which ended up landing eighth in the lottery.
Irving's first season in Boston was extremely successful, claiming in the first seed in the East, even with fellow All-Star Gordon Hayward going down for the season in his first game for Boston. Unfortunately for Kyrie however, Irving was forced to undergo knee surgery before the beginning of the postseason, all but destroying the Celtics' chances in everyone's eyes.
Boston surprised everyone though, and now find themselves tied 2-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, all without the help of Kyrie Irving.
The fact that Kyrie left Cleveland to lead his own team, and the team he left to is on the verge of reaching the Finals without his help indicates that Jalen Rose could be right. What if the Celtics prove they don't need Kyrie to reach the NBA Finals, or even win the championship? What if they win the title this year without Irving and Hayward, and don't win the title the year after when everyone's healthy? What would that say about Kyrie's impact on the game, or more importantly, Brad Stevens'?
Whatever the case, Jalen Rose probably has a bit of point, and Kyrie will be extremely relieved if the Celtics fall to the Cavs in the Conference Finals.