Kyrie Irving and LeBron James played together for three seasons in Cleveland before the star point guard asked for a trade to get out of James’ giant shadow and get the opportunity to lead his own team, ultimately landing with the Boston Celtics.
Less than two years later, James finds himself as the leader of a young Los Angeles Lakers team while Irving is facing questions about his future in Boston. After the two NBA superstars healed their relationship thanks to an apology from Irving, rumors started to swirl about the possibility of Irving and James reuniting in Los Angeles to lead the Lakers back to the NBA Finals.
While there have been conflicting reports about Irving’s actual desire to play alongside James once again, The Ringer’s CEO and diehard Celtics fan Bill Simmons floated a wild conspiracy theory on the “Bill Simmons Podcast” where he postulated that James and Irving could have planned their exodus from Cleveland and subsequent reunion.
“What if LeBron and Kyrie have planned this all along?” Simmons asked. “What if it was like, ‘We both got to get out of Cleveland. Screw Dan Gilbert. You work a trade to wherever, you go to Boston. We’ll make sure they get a draft pick back. I’ll go to the Lakers and then when your contract is up we’ll reunite like Andy and Red at the end of ‘Shawshank?’ But Anthony Davis will be there too. You can’t tell me that 100 percent didn’t happen.”
All right, that’s completely insane. Or is it?
Star players in today’s NBA control their destiny more than any other athlete, so while the James-Irving conspiracy seems far-fetched, it might not be completely out of left field. Irving has been frustrated with his young Celtics teammates and might have been rubbed the wrong way by the Celtics’ own pursuit of Davis, which could cause him to look for a new home when he becomes a free agent on July 1.
Irving joining the Lakers still seems like a very, very long shot, but with James and perhaps Davis suiting up for the Purple and Gold, Southern California might be hard for Irving to turn down.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images