To say the relationship between Cleveland Cavaliers superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving is not good might be an understatement.
James reportedly was “blindsided” by Irving’s recent trade request, and a report Monday said the four-time NBA MVP is “eager” for him to be dealt to another team after the Cavs came to a reported agreement with veteran point guard Derrick Rose.
Well, Stephen A. Smith said Monday on the “Stephen A. Smith Show” podcast that, citing sources close to James’ camp, “if Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass.”
Smith added: “Let me explain why. I want to make sure this is in context. LeBron James’ beef with Kyrie has nothing to do Kyrie wanting to be traded. LeBron’s problem, according to what I’m being told, is that LeBron is upset that Kyrie has made him a subject to be broached in regards to Kyrie’s desires to move out. LeBron is like, ‘look, you’re a big-time player, you got franchise-caliber material. You want to move on to greener pastures, or what you perceive to be greener pastures, that’s cool. But why is my name being raked through the coals as if I’m a difficult teammate, as if I’m some pre-madonna, as if I’m this that and the (other). Why are you putting me through that when I’ve never done anything like that to you?'”
Irving reportedly doesn’t want to play with James anymore and would prefer to be the focal point of a franchise.
Now, you could argue Irving owes a lot of his success at the pro level to James. Without James, Irving does not play in three straight NBA Finals, and that means no legendary 3-point shot to seal the Cavs’ first championship in the 2016 NBA Finals. It’s hard to imagine Irving hitting a more iconic shot for the rest of his career.
At this point, the Cavs trading Irving seems inevitable. The real question is where would he go? It’s hard to imagine Cleveland trading him to an Eastern Conference team, and two of Irving’s preferred destinations reportedly include the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves.
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