Kyrie Irving has an interesting history with LeBron James, dating back to their time together with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But after James and the Los Angeles Lakers handed Irving and the Brooklyn Nets their fifth consecutive loss Thursday night, Irving spoke highly of his former teammate and their current relationship.
“We do have history, and I think that the magnitude of our relationship extends way beyond the floor, and I?m just appreciative,” Irving told reporters in Brooklyn. “I?ve learned so much from that guy and to see what he?s doing at this age, this many years in the league, he?s consistent, and that?s a great player right there.”
James and Irving played three seasons together in Cleveland — after James returned from the Miami Heat in 2014. The duo led the Cavaliers to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, securing a title in 2016. However, the two split after falling to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in 2017, as Irving requested a trade to escape James’ shadow and landed with the Boston Celtics.
When going head-to-head, James now holds a 10-2 advantage over Irving. Both of Irving’s wins came during his time with the Celtics.
With Thursday’s loss, the Nets fell to 18-25 on the 2019-20 season, putting Brooklyn eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers, meanwhile, are leading the Western Conference with a 36-9 record.