ESPN’s veteran reporter Jackie MacMullen unveiled a long form piece on Wednesday about Kyrie Irving’s journey as a player thus far in his NBA career, his controversial exit in Cleveland and his motivations and goals in Boston.
As you can guess the most interesting and topical portion of the piece (especially with the Cavaliers and Celtics game in Boston Wednesday night) is Irving’s comments on leaving the Cavaliers.
You may be surprised by his accounts of what happened this summer…
“[Leaving Cleveland] was inevitable,” Irving said. “I could feel it… They didn’t want me there.” Irving reportedly caught wind of the Cavs front office including his name in trade talks back in June, which was a factor in prompting him to request a trade out of Cleveland.”
Wow, the pot has officially been stirred.
Here was LeBron’s response when asked about Irving’s claim:
“That makes absolutely no sense.”
Somebody is not being completely truthful here. There is no way that the organization would want to deal Irving if he were happy in my opinion, but if that were true, there is even less of a likelihood that LeBron James would have no awareness of the organization’s desire to trade Irving and not have a part in it. LeBron has his hands in everything that the Cavaliers organization does on an off the court.
I think Irving is an intelligent, thoughtful and highly gifted guy, but unless there was some huge misunderstanding, I can not and will not buy his claim that the Cavaliers wanted him out of town and his trade request was a result of the Cavaliers forcing him out behind the scenes.
We all know NBA players are a sensitive bunch though and one public or private comment or misconstrued action can set off an NBA player and convince them that they aren’t wanted.
Whatever the full story is we won’t know for a little while, if ever. The reality is that the Celtics have Irving as the face of the franchise and the Cavaliers have moved on with Isaiah Thomas and as a result we have a huge rivalry in place for eastern conference supremacy, at least for this season.