While they only played in the NBA together for 3 years, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were a formidable duo. Kyrie's growth into a superstar was one of the biggest reasons LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014.
And the duo went to the NBA Finals all three years they played together. While he respected LeBron, Kyrie was not afraid of him and even played 1-on-1 against him while they were teammates.
In a recent appearance on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, Kyrie Irving spoke about his time in Cleveland. Irving noted that he had supreme confidence in himself, even walking into practice and telling all his teammates he was better than them and he would prove it by playing 1-on-1 against all of them.
LeBron James accepted the challenge, and the two played 1-on-1 for the first and only time. Kyrie refused to reveal who won the battle between the two.
“I was coming in everyday like, ‘Yo, I'm better than you, you, you, you, you, you. I don’t care, y’all can line up, we can go 1v1 right now. That energy was me everyday. Me going against ‘Bron, we played 1-on-1 one time, by the way, I’m not gonna tell y’all who won or lost.”
The two players had a falling out in 2017 which led to Irving demanding a trade. While their relationship has had its ups and downs over the years, both players have seemingly gotten past their differences.
LeBron has been nothing but complimentary about Kyrie, and Irving has also reflected back on his time with LeBron, noting that he wished he had handled the differences between the two with more maturity.
With Kyrie Irving being a free agent this offseason, and the Lakers looking to reinforce their team, could we see Irving and LeBron reunite? It might be tricky, considering Irving has maintained that he wants to re-sign with the Nets.
But Nets GM Sean Marks has been saying he hasn't spoken to Kyrie about the new deal, which could put a damper on Irving's plans, allowing LeBron to offer a pretty lucrative alternative for the All-Star.