LeBron James is doing everything he can to lobby for certain star players to come to the Los Angeles Lakers with him. One of those players appears to be former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, who notoriously had a bit of bad blood with The King.
Irving is now a member of the Boston Celtics, but it’s not clear whether he’ll be staying in New England past July. Irving has said that he feels that he doesn’t owe anyone anything from this juncture out.
Meanwhile, it appears that James is continuing to push for Irving to join him LA via the media. In a feature published on Sunday, James told The Athletic that he and Irving have already made up and that he’s proud of Irving. Additionally, James said that he approved of Irving saying he’s going to do what’s best for him.
Via The Athletic:
“Yeah, we’re in a good place right now,” James told The Athletic Saturday night. “Me and Kyrie are in a good place right now. I love the man that he’s becoming, I love the challenges he’s accepted and I always wish the best for him.”
“He handled it great,” James said. “His post interview was great as well. Just a lot of things that’s going on in our league right now, and the one thing you want to focus on is getting that team to place where he wanted it to be, and that’s competing for a championship.”
James isn’t subtle, but he’s at least smart. It would be too far to say this is some kind of expert-level mastery of the media: it’s more signaling than anything. Fans will see this as implied lobbying by LeBron, and perhaps it’s true that he and Irving could have buried the hatched well enough to get along in LA. We’ll still need to wait until July when Irving is a free agent, but if James is going this hard in February I can’t wait to see what happens over the spring.