The most surprising thing about this video, which shows Andray Blatche checking in during the first quarter in Washington for the first time as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, is the fact that the broadcaster reminds us that Blatche played for the Wizards for seven (!) seasons.
Blatche was known for whatever the opposite of effort is during his time in DC, and made some of the least intelligent basketball decisions on the court at the professional level that you would ever hope to see.
As a result, and as expected, Blatche was booed heartily by the few fans in attendance when he entered the game, but strangely, was cheered by most when he scored on his first shot attempt.
Abusive relationships aren’t easy to get out of, and Wizards fans who actually would cheer anything Blatche does with another team clearly have not yet gotten over the scarring of the Blatche years in Washington.
LeBron might not be inclined to persuade Irving to drop his trade request, anyway. It really seems LeBron wants to stay out of this – or at least give the impression he’s staying out of this. LeBron denying bitterness toward Irving is one thing. LeBron connecting with a teammate who has cited problems with him as a reason for leaving is another.
Report: Pacers offered Paul George for Kyrie Irving
Irving is locked up for two more years, and George is on an expiring contract. That simply makes Irving more valuable than George, who – like LeBron James – could have walked in a year. George is ineligible for a reasonable contract extension, and there’s so much buzz about him joining the Lakers.
Now, if the Cavs were more on top of Irving’s trade request when George were still available, maybe they would have more aggressively tried to bridge the gap. Perhaps, Indiana could have sent another player or draft pick.
But Cleveland shouldn’t be kicking itself over not dealing Irving for George straight up.
Report: LeBron James eager for Kyrie Irving to be traded
“You owe your teammates first because those are the guys that you spend the most time around that you have relationships with, more so than anybody else,” Lillard said. “And also the fans because they are part of your team. They’re the people that come and cheer for you and support you as much as anybody. So I think they’re the two groups of people that you owe the truth. They deserve to know the truth in where you stand and what your plans are.”
Hard to argue with that.
Of course, honesty can lead to some bad blood. If Kyrie Irving went to his teammates and the fans in Cleveland and said, “Look, LeBron James is leaving in a year, and I don’t want to be the guy holding the bag, so I’m forcing my way out while I can” how would that go over? It’s the truth — or maybe the largest part of the truth, there is never just one thing — but it would rub a lot of people the wrong way. And Irving would get roasted in the media (more than he is already).
It sounds good to be honest, and a lot of guys try, but they have talked themselves into that narrative before they sell it everywhere else. Everything is spin, to a degree.