While the recent stretch of days have been enough to ramp up the intrigue around the idea of Kyrie Irving joining the Los Angeles Lakers, the latest news turned the tides once again. Although it appears Irving and former teammate LeBron James have cleared up any past issues, the Boston Celtics guard does not appear to be headed to the Lakers now.
This comes courtesy of ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, who spoke on the recent Hoop Collective podcast about the situation. As John Karalis of MassLive transcribed, MacMullan believes Irving and LeBron are on good terms but feels “very strongly” that the guard will not sign with the Lakers in free agency.
“I did a little digging around and my feeling is very strongly that while LeBron and Kyrie have kissed and made up, that Kyrie is not going there,” she said. “He’s just not. I just don’t believe it. And I think people close to him just don’t believe it either.”
The comments are interesting, and the timing of them stands out more than anything. Earlier in the day on Friday, James sent waves through NBA social media after he liked one specific photo of Irving.
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LeBron James Likes Photo of Kyrie Irving in Lakers Jersey
While there are a number of reasons to believe that the Lakers could go heavy in the recruitment of Irving, LeBron’s recent decision to tap the “like” button on Instagram was attention-grabbing. Instagram user cuffsthelegend posted a photoshopped image of Kyrie wearing a Lakers jersey, which LeBron proceeded to like.
His decision to show some love to the post teasing Kyrie in a Lakers jersey was big and pointed to the expectation that he’d be open to teaming back up with the guard. Even going beyond that, MacMullan’s colleague at ESPN spoke about the potential pairing, bringing even more attention to the topic.
LeBron James to Recruit Kyrie Irving
Although ESPN’s Brian Windhorst spoke on the Stephen A. Smith Show (via Chris Montano of Def Pen Sports) about LeBron recruiting Irving, he didn’t sound overly optimistic about it. His comments actually came across with some possible doubt over the outcome playing out, which is understandable based on how their time with the Cleveland Cavaliers ended.
“I think Kyrie is considering the Lakers. And he’s had some conversations with some people, and I know he’s in touch with LeBron. And LeBron’s going to make a run to recruit him. I don’t know if they can win that over. Kyrie and LeBron’s games are matched together beautifully, there may not be another player that LeBron has ever played with who fits to playing alongside him more than Kyrie.”
“Unfortunately, their personalities do not. And so I don’t know if their personalities could survive it again. But if they can somehow see a way to play together, it would be a game-changing transaction in the league.” Windhorst stated.
Although Lakers fans will surely hold out hope about Irving potentially heading to Los Angeles, the rumors will continue to swirl for at least another month or so. At that point, the 27-year-old has a crucial decision to make, and there are a number of intriguing options on the table, including possibly returning to Boston or heading to New York.