Irving thinks LeBron and his camp leaked the trade report and are trying to drag his good name through the mud. LeBron — the man who led the way in teaching other players they should take control of their destiny and where they play — is angry that a player took control of his how destiny and is about to leave him high and dry. Right now both sides are trying to control the story — does Irving really envy Damian Lillard and John Wall‘s roles over his own, or is that spin? — while fans come up with trade proposals. (No, a Kyrie for Carmelo Anthony trade is not happening.)
About the only thing that is clear is that this relationship is beyond repair. As evidence, we bring you the latest bit of spin, this from Stephen A. Smith’s “sources” as he spelled out on his radio show, (those sources are almost certainly are in the LeBron camp).
The full quote was: “If Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass.”
I imagine if they were face-to-face right now it would look like every other NBA “fight” — they would push each other then make sure other guys jumped between them and held them apart so they could jaw but not actually have to throw a punch.
And yes, I know it’s Smith and we should take what he says with a full box of Morton’s Kosher Salt, but he illustrates a point:
Right now, the fight between Kyrie and LeBron is the sides trying to control the narrative.
No doubt LeBron is frustrated, he is in the legacy building part of his career and the Cavaliers were the consensus best team in the East with a shot at a ring next season. No Kyrie — almost no matter who Cleveland gets back in a trade — means the Cavs take a step back (while the Warriors and every other team in contention got better). LeBron feels hurt and a little betrayed and is spinning that.
Irving is within his rights to ask out. There are certainly a variety of reasons he wants out, but at the top of the list is he wanted to control his own destiny before LeBron left next summer (probably) and Kyrie was left as the star on a team built to go around LeBron. Not that Cleveland did anything wrong, that is exactly the kind of team the Cavaliers should have built, LeBron will go down as an All-Time top 5 player, and this team brought Cleveland its first ring in 54 years. That doesn’t mean Irving can’t read the writing on the wall and want out.
For now, the drama will not stop between these two — nor will the spinning.