Kyrie Irving is a great player. There’s no denying that. I think the situation he has gone through with LeBron is a little TMZesque. It’s unfortunate that two great players can’t get through tough times like these. I really respected these two because they stayed in the Eastern Conference, at a time when every great player has gone to the Western Conference to challenge the Golden State Warriors. Kyrie has been with the Cleveland Cavaliers ever since he has been drafted. He has really worked hard to become one of the best players in the NBA. I think that he got frustrated with the fact that LeBron was the face of the franchise. It must get into a players head when they are a superstar but don’t receive the credit they deserve. I believe that’s how Kyrie feels right now. He doesn’t want to be second fiddle anymore. He wants to be the face of the franchise. I remember a kid from Cleveland once told me that Lebron was going to come back from Cleveland after he was done with his stint in Miami. I remember laughing at him because I did not believe that was going to happen. A year and a half later, it happened. I think Kyrie Irving knew the potential of this event occurring, because when LeBron was away from Cleveland, they were notorious for tanking. They tanked so they could get players like Kyrie Irving and Tristian Thompson, so that when Lebron returned, he had a team around him. At the beginning of his career, Kyrie was the face of the franchise.
He was able to do what he wanted to, and there weren’t many consequences for the mistakes he made. He was able to make himself into a legit player. His combination of driving and shooting, made it hard for other people to guard him. He had already won an NBA All-Star MVP the year before LeBron returned. When the king returned, Kyrie saw something in front of his face that was more exciting than an All-Star MVP: an NBA championship. Winning was the only option.
Some quality Kyrie highlights
The expectations were win now and forever. When LeBron returned to Cleveland, Kyrie was still only 22 years old. In addition, the Cavaliers just acquired Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves; a perennial all-star. The sky was the limit. While it took the Cavaliers newly renovated roster some time to mesh together, the big 3 (Love, LeBron, and Kyrie) were able to make it to the finals. They unfortunately were defeated by the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers were eager for redemption. They made more roster moves the following offseason to make sure that they would be crowned champions the following season.
That next season, a lot of things started to hit the fan. The Cavs were doing well, but not well enough that their coaches job would be sacrificed because of their underwhelming performances. They had to make a lot of midseason adjusts in order to position themselves in a good spot. Not only were the Warriors setting records with their performances, but Boston was starting to become a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland had to step it’s game up. If they wanted to win now, they had to go balls to the wall. That’s exactly what they did. They fought through the playoffs and came out on top. They became the first team in NBA history to win an NBA Finals series in 7 after being down 3-1. The man who made the series defining play was not LeBron James, it was Kyrie Irving. Kyrie’s dagger in the final minute of the series secured the Cavaliers’ first ever NBA title.
It seemed like there were more titles coming Cleveland’s way. They had just defeated the team with the best regular season record in NBA history. They were destined for at least another. However, that offseason the Warriors made more moves. They acquired Kevin Durant, a top 3 player in the NBA. The Cavs were not able to sign a player of that magnitude. While they got through the Eastern Conference with ease again, they were not able to defeat the Golden State Warriors. They were defeated again.
This past offseason, every team that is a position to contend has made a roster move to significantly better their team. While the Cavs have acquired some good roll players, they haven’t picked up a superstar. Before the NBA draft, LeBron supposedly told the Cleveland front office that he wanted to trade for Chris Paul in exchange for Kyrie Irving. Kyrie heard about this rumor and wanted out. He was sick and tired of being second fiddle. Not only was he second fiddle, the face of the franchise wanted him out.
Kyrie now wants to start over again. He has a ring. He’s done a lot for the city of Cleveland. He truly wants to be the face of the franchise and not worry about the status of his job. Job security is something that we all strive for, and that’s what Kyrie is looking for right now. He has requested a trade. He wants to either go to a winner or a big market team. While he could end up somewhere like New York or San Antonio, one likely spot he might end up at is Phoenix. They have the trading pieces Cleveland desires and LeBron has been working out with Phoenix’s starting point guard, Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe is a great fit in Cleveland as he can work off ball and score at will. Throw in a blue chip player and a draft pick; it’s a deal.
While all this is going on, we have to sit and wait. We can speculate all we want, but until anything is finalized, all we have is talk. I think that what makes sports great. Not only are they fun to watch, but they are great conversation starters. If you want to interact with someone, bringing up something relevant in the sports world will normally be a good way to start. I think that while Kyrie is likely to get traded, there’s a chance that he won’t. I remember in 2007, Kobe Bryant wanted to get traded. He was tired of being defeated in the first round of the playoffs. He wanted a different challenge. However, he kept on working hard and ended up not getting traded. That ended up being great for him as he won two more championships and retired arguably as the greatest Laker of all time. It will be interesting to see what happens with Kyrie. I hope the best for him and I truly hope he stays in Cleveland. For now we can only talk and speculate.