Kyrie Irving Tells ESPN He Never Told LeBron James About His Plans to Leave Cleveland


Kyrie Irving LeBron James, Kyrie Irving tradeGetty

Kyrie Irving told ESPN Monday morning that he never told former teammate LeBron James that he wanted to leave Cleveland

Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics stopped by ESPN’s First Take Monday morning and predictably he was asked about leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers, specifically if had talked to LeBron James back when he first decided he wanted out. Irving was traded to the Celtics in late August for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a draft pick.

In a show that has become famous for it’s fireworks and epic shouting matches between it’s hosts, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman, Irving appeared calm and measured as he addressed the trade and whether or not he let Cleveland’s other star player know beforehand that he was unhappy and wanted to move on.

From ‘First Take’:

Smith: “Did you speak to LeBron James or talk to LeBron James before you or your representatives met with ownership to let them know that you wanted out?”

Irving: “No.”

Smith: “Why not?”

Irving: “Why would I have to?”

Okay then.

No one can claim to be all that surprised by Irving’s response, nor can they blame him. Everyone likes to joke about James being the real boss of the Cavaliers, but those are just jokes. In reality, James and Irving were teammates, they were co-workers. Given the way Smith asked that initial question, it’s almost as if he was asking if Irving had asked James for permission or was looking for an okay from him. Given that, why would Irving bother to do that? James doesn’t own the Cavaliers. Not yet at least.

What speaks volumes though and makes upcoming matchups between the Celtics and Cavaliers so exciting is Irving’s one word answers to the last two questions.

Smith: “If you don’t speak to someone about it, they might take it personally.”

Irving: “Yeah.”

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Smith: “Do you care about that at all?”

Irving: “No.”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe, just maybe Irving is already enjoying his newfound role as the LeBron James’ nemesis.

This season should be fun.


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