It's hard enough being in the NBA and having to deal with the good and bad that comes with being a famous athlete - pushy sponsors, unruly fans, hecklers, trash-talking opponents and of course, the unforgiving media, but all of those issues are only compounded when family members are creating drama in your own locker room.
Sometimes those problems -- as well as personal desires -- lead to a change of scenery, and that's exactly what happened when Kyrie requested his trade to get out of Cleveland.
In a story published by The Athletic on October 18th, Kyrie Irving's father, Drederick Irving, reportedly had issues with both LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers' organization, which is believed to be a major reason as to why Kyrie wanted out during this past offseason.
"One day during the three years LeBron James and Kyrie Irving spent as teammates, Drederick Irving was exiting the Cavs’ locker room when Randy Mims was entering. Mims, one of James’ lifelong friends and an official Cavs employee, reached out his hand to slap Drederick five. But Dred, Irving’s father, pulled his own arm back and refused the gesture.
When James later asked Irving about the incident and if there was something wrong, Irving said his father believed they shouldn’t be “fraternizing with the enemy.” Three sources with knowledge of the exchange independently confirmed it to The Athletic, revealing just a glimmer of light into a fractured relationship that both men hid well during their time together."
What could 'fraternizing with the enemy' possibly mean? Did Kyrie and his father both see LeBron James and his entourage within the Cavs' organization as opponents, rather than teammates? If that is the case, why? Both Irving and James had spent three years together on the same team, and had immense on-court success, making three consecutive Finals series and winning one in 2016. None of it makes any sense.
Whatever you choose to believe, if this story has an ounce of truth to it, it illustrates just how broken the relationship was between Kyrie and LeBron well before Irving requested a move.