Before the Cleveland Cavaliers rebuilt their roster at the NBA trade deadline, they were a broken team who obviously had quit on each other with LeBron James and Isaiah Thomas’ broken relationship headlining the dysfunction.
And it appears Kyrie Irving might have been one of the main causes of the break down between James and Thomas.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst went on Zach Lowe’s “The Lowe Post” podcast after Cleveland traded Thomas to the Los Angeles Lakers and dropped an interesting nugget on the failed relationship between the former Boston Celtics star and James.
“It looked like they had a little bit of chemistry,” Windhorst said about James and Thomas before the guard returned from his hip injury, “and then when Isaiah actually started playing, LeBron started hating him within like days. And I know that there was some baggage there, like, you know, whatever LeBron wants to say with that Arthur meme, he’s angry that Kyrie is so good and he’s not on this team anymore. And Isaiah was the personification of that, whether that was Isaiah’s fault or not.”
It has been reported that James did not want the Cavs to trade Irving, despite the guard’s insistence that he would not play another minute with the star forward, and that almost tanked Cleveland’s season.
But Cleveland seems reenergized since making multiple deadline deals to get younger and more athletic. Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and George Hill have addressed many of the Cavs’ issues, fixing the team’s broken culture being chief among them.
Now that Thomas is out of the picture, James seems refocused on getting to a fourth straight NBA Finals rather than stewing on the loss of his former teammate.
And that’s bad news for the rest of the NBA.