OPINION: Kyrie And Lebron Drama Is The Last Thing The Cavaliers Could Have Dreamed Of
Lebron James and Kyrie Irving separating? Could this even be possible?
At the beginning of the summer, uttering that statement would be considered blasphemy in Cleveland. Splitting James and Irving up, after three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and a 2016 Championship, seemed incomparable.
But now, you can hardly go more than a day without hearing new rumors or developments regarding the two’s inevitable breakup. After Irving requested to be traded away from the Cavaliers, the NBA world went into a frenzy, shocking analysts, fans, and even James himself.
It’s easy to understand why Irving would want to leave. A number one draft pick of the Cavaliers in 2011, Irving has been able to develop into an NBA All-Star and household name. Even though the Cavaliers struggled with him during his first three NBA seasons, the next three were aside James, and that drew more attention than anything else, and helped show the world how great Irving really is. From his acrobatic finishes to clutch shooting, why leave a sidekick like Lebron?
That is because Lebron was not the sidekick, rather it was Kyrie. Irving was tired of being ‘Robin’ to James’ ‘Batman,’ as well as the ‘son’ to James to speak. Irving has the ability to turn an NBA franchise around or help a good team become a great team. But James can bring out the best of players like no one else.
It’s truly a shame Irving has come to this realization and suddenly wants out. Cavaliers players, including James and Irving, both complained about the team’s offseason performance. A catastrophe regarding the General Manager position, as well as picking up no star players to help compete with the Golden State Warriors, have hindered the Cavaliers’ championship hopes next season. While other teams such as the Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics improved dramatically, the biggest names Cleveland picked up were Jose Calderon and Derrick Rose.
The bent up frustration had to be a factor in Irving’s outbreak. It’s hard to complain when you are on a team that made it to three consecutive NBA championships. Lebron has been ‘the guy’ on both the Cavaliers and Miami Heat almost his entire career, and the astonishing plus-minus numbers with and without James on the court during the 2017 Finals are staggering. The Cavaliers needed Irving to win the 2016 Finals, but they needed James even more the following season, as they ultimately did come up short.
One could have thought there was hope that Irving and James could have created more in Cleveland. With a trade for Irving imminent, it seems that the Cavaliers are in a lot of trouble if they think they can win a championship anytime soon.