Kyrie Irving made headlines earlier this season when he revealed he called former teammate LeBron James to apologize for how he acted when he was a younger player with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The phone call came after Irving publically criticized his young Boston Celtics teammates and the guard realized what James went through as the leader of the Cavs when Irving was a young star who “wanted everything.”
Irving’s phone call prompted widespread rumors the 26-year-old could reunite with James next season with the Los Angeles Lakers even leading some to speculate the All-Stars concocted the plan to escape Cleveland and link up in LA all along.
While that’s mainly unsubstantiated nonsense, Irving did sit down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols during All-Star weekend and explain why he extended the olive branch to his former teammate.
“Well, I think that it takes a very, very strong individual to replay a lot of the experiences that you’ve had, a lot of anger that you had built up where you didn’t address the situation and you allowed it to fester and then it was just combustion,” Irving said. “It came out and then you realize like ‘hey man, I didn’t have to deal with that the same way I dealt with that, you know, I didn’t have to go about it that same way.’ Now, mind you, I have no regrets in terms of any decision that I made, you know, going about my individual journey and what I want and see from my individual career. And yeah, apologizing that was a step for me just to move forward in my life.”
That sure doesn’t sound like someone who’s about to head west to rejoin his former running mate, but anything is possible in the NBA.
Boston enters the final 24-game stretch of the regular season in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, having battled internal drama and on-court chemistry issues in what has been a rocky season. It will be up to Irving to push the Celtics to the lofty heights they appeared destined for when the season began, but if the Green falls flat on its face in the postseason, expect the Irving-to-Los Angeles (or New York) rumors to get out of control.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images