When news surfaced that Kyrie Irving no longer wanted to be apart of the Cleveland Cavaliers team, it stunned fans everywhere. Even more surprising than the news itself, was the reason behind it.
At just 25 years old, Kyrie decided he was ready to be more of a focal point of a franchise team. Adding fuel to speculation his relationship with LeBron James was strained. Since then, Kyrie has not shied away from backing up those statements and double-downed in a recent interview, saying he didn’t feel he had to tell LeBron James about his career moves. Why would he? After all, in case you forgot, Kyrie Irving’s a grown man.
Understand this about Kyrie and LeBron’s relationship, Kyrie Irving was drafted at a time where Cleveland was reeling from the fact LeBron James (their hometown hero) chose to leave them and Kyrie became the new focus of the organization. He was dubbed the young man to bring the Cleveland Cavaliers back to glory and played a major part in first steps to rebuilding their franchise. LeBron James coming back to the organization not only took away his status as the focal point but Kyrie quickly became “the little brother” to LeBron James. A role he never asked for, and never signed up to be. How could you not want to leave when these are the questions you’re asked about someone who should be considered your peer?
LeBron James coming back to the organization not only took away his status as the focal point but Kyrie quickly became ‘the little brother’ to LeBron James. A role he never asked for, and never signed up to be. How could you not want to leave when these are the questions you’re asked about someone who should be considered your peer?
As a grown man, to be asked if another man a few years older than you plays a parental role in your life? What? To play on a team with arguably the best player in the league is no doubt a huge opportunity to take your game to the next level.
And as far as Kyrie is concerned he did that when he helped deliver a NBA Championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Let’s not forget, before the “infamous block” by LeBron James that solidified a game seven win in the 2016 NBA finals, there was this play:
Has Kyrie still not earned the right to be a superstar on his own? Kyrie’s trade request has nothing to do with Cleveland, and everything to do with Kyrie. He’s clearly making a statement about himself as a player and as a man. He is very capable of leading a team and making decisions based off of what is best for himself and his family. The man’s a father for goodness sake! But yet, his role on the Cleveland Cavaliers was only as good as LeBron validated, at least that’s how the media portrayed their relationship:
As much as we love to think of Kyrie Irving as the young, bright-eyed bushy tailed kid who was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, the truth is he’s far from what he was when he got to the league and has proven he’s grown to be much more than that.
Since 2011, Kyrie Irving has had three different coaches, weathered the news of LeBron James returning to his kingdom, defeat in the finals, redemption the following year, defeat yet again, LeBron James trade rumors and a GM change.
At what point is wanting – or better yet – asking for stability with a new organization about his wants vs. LeBron’s feelings? Kyrie Irving is a grown man and is conducting himself as such. There is no need to ask for permission or seek validation. He is betting on himself and taking his talents to a new organization that is ready to welcome him with open arms!
At this point, the only thing left to do is put his money where his once bearded mouth is. He’s made it very clear he wants to be the leader of his next team. He’s double-downed on those statements with no remorse for how things played out in Cleveland.
The next step is to prove he is better than being in LeBron James’ shadow. The only way to accomplish that is to perform. As fans, whether we like it or not, Kyrie’s ask for a trade was the biggest decision of Kyrie’s career in the NBA. And every time he puts on a Celtics uniform it will be a constant reminder of his decision.
Irving understands the magnitude of the situation, it’s just time for us to catch up.