LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were quite an imposing duo together. While they only played together for 3 years in Cleveland but found a lot of success together. The duo went to three NBA Finals together and pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in NBA Finals history when they came back from 3-1 to win the NBA championship over the Golden State Warriors.
But there were issues between the two, as LeBron and Kyrie seemingly didn't get along, and Irving felt overshadowed by James after he returned to Cleveland. But James quite liked Kyrie and stood up for him whenever he could
LeBron James did stand up for Kyrie Irving, as he showed during the 2015 NBA playoffs. After the Cavaliers lost to the Chicago Bulls in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a reporter asked LeBron James about Kyrie Irving's lack of assists. James immediately mentioned how he had failed to deliver for them, and defended Irving to the biggest extent possible.
“Don’t none of us get a pass tonight. It’s not just Kyrie. Kyrie could have had 40 assists, but D-Rose still makes that shot we still lose. It’s not about Kyrie, it’s not about LeBron, it’s not about Tristan and all the way down the line. None of us get a pass tonight. We have to be better. I have to be better. I had 7 turnovers tonight. Maybe if I had 4 then we don’t put ourselves in that position. Also shot 8-25 from the field. Maybe if I’m 11-25, we put ourselves in a better position. Also shot 1-7 from the three-point line. And I only had 1 steal. It aint about Kyrie. Put it on me. It’s not about Kyrie. Kyrie going to be great, and for the rest of us, we just have to pick each other up.”
Clearly, LeBron didn't like the fact that Irving was being singled out when it came to criticism over the loss. James knew that all of them had to perform better, deflected the blame from Kyrie, and took it upon himself to make sure that Irving kept his head up.
Their relationship wasn't always the best, and Kyrie eventually demanded a trade from the Cavaliers. One recent report says that Irving felt overshadowed at Cleveland, as LeBron James received special treatment from the franchise, something he didn't get from the Cavaliers while he was there.