Through the wickets. Nutmeged. Just plain showing up.
Maybe this was the first real sign Monday night was not going to be the Grizzlies night. The Spurs were on a first-quarter run and Kawhi Leonard is bringing the ball up in transition and the Grizzlies do a good job of stopping the ball, so he passes out on the wing to Manu Ginobili. But already Tayshaun Prince has picked him up and is ready in a defensive position with his feet shoulder width apart.
And Ginobili throws a bounce pass right through Prince’s legs to Cory Joseph for the layup. Ouch.
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.
Watch Stephen Curry make fun of Klay Thompson’s 360 dunk fail in China