There aren’t a lot of players with 5 NBA Championship rings. Former Cleveland Cavaliers star Ron Harper is in that exclusive club, with names like Magic Johnson, Dennis Rodman, and Steve Kerr. Not bad company. But the former Cavs guard isn’t impressed with how Cleveland’s current All Star point guard Kyrie Irving has been acting, citing the 25-year-old’s “youth” and “immaturity” for wanting to leave a championship-contending Cavs squad.
Back in Harper’s day, NBA players didn’t have the leverage they do today. Players, even stars, didn’t just ask “to leave” – and when they did, they usually got traded to lousy teams, not championship contenders. And objectively, Kyrie has a good thing going in Cleveland. His team has made the NBA Finals the past three years. Chris Paul would drink a cup of his own blood to be able to say that.
Granted, LeBron casts a big shadow, but unless Kyrie joins the Golden State Warriors, he’s gonna have a tough time making the Finals because whatever squad LeBron is on coming out of the East. And that squad, at least for another year, is the Cavs.
Harper’s criticism of Kyrie, a former number one overall pick, didn’t stop there.
“It’s always going to be a two- or three-star team. You’re never going to be a guy who carries your team. You see when LeBron doesn’t play, you don’t carry the team.”
Harper’s comments notwithstanding, Kyrie Irving does have some legitimate grievances. He’s earned the right to be “the man” and that will never happen playing on the same team as LeBron. Irving is an offensive freak; arguably the best finisher in the game:
Ron Harper might have five rings, but he isn’t Kyrie Irving. Kyrie is simply a different animal, and if his instincts are telling him to get out of Cleveland, he’s earned that much.