As LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare for their fourth consecutive NBA Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors, they are seen as major underdogs.
One of the primary reasons for this is the disappearing act of one Kyrie Irving, who demanded a trade last offseason. A star point guard and true difference-maker, Irving had played a huge role in each of the Cavaliers’ last two Finals appearances. He’s now a member of the conference rival Boston Celtics after a blockbuster trade last offseason.
A lot has been made about James’ relationship with Irving. We’ve seen the latter take shots at his former teammate a ton since the above-mentioned trade.
But James himself is now out here admitting that he called up the Cavaliers’ brass in hopes of preventing an Irving trade last summer.
“Even if you start back to the summertime where I felt like it was just bad for our franchise just to be able to trade away our superstar point guard,” James told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “A guy that I had been in so many battles with over the last three years, and obviously I wasn’t a part of the communications and know exactly what went on between the two sides. But I just felt like it was bad timing for our team.”
James went on to note that he felt like the “odds were against” the Cavaliers from the summer.
For James, that included the hip injury to a player Cleveland acquired in the Irving blockbuster, Isaiah Thomas.
Potentially set to play his final handful of games as a member of the Cavaliers, it’s rather interesting that James would speak so candidly about the Irving situation and a perceived rift with Cleveland’s front office. Whether this is a prelude to The King moving on in free agency remains to be seen.