From 2015 to 2018, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James headlined the Cleveland Cavaliers as one of the most dominant duos in NBA history. Irving and LeBron were a part of the historic Cavs team that came back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals to beat the Golden State Warriors, who won an NBA record 73 games during the regular season.
Many would argue that Kyrie was at the top of his game when he played with LeBron in Cleveland. According to ESPN insider Brian Windhorst, LeBron tried to reach out to Irving in 2019 to put the past behind them and recruit him to the Lakers.
“A couple of years ago, when Kyrie was headed to free agency, LeBron James was interested in trying to recruit him to the Los Angeles Lakers, and he reached out and attempted to mend fences,” Windhorst said. “It lasted for a short time. When Kyrie didn’t choose the Lakers, their relationship went away again.”
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Kyrie Irving Clarifies Comments About LeBron James
Kyrie has always been known to hit big shots. In 2020, Irving did an interview, where he gave credit to his co-star, Durant, and his ability to hit big shots as well, saying he had never played with anyone who could also come up big in clutch moments. But LeBron took exception to Kyrie’s praise for Durant, as it was perceived by many as a shot at the Lakers star. During a recent interview on Boardroom’s “The ETCs” podcast, Irving clarified his past comments.
“Shout out to LeBron, you know what I mean. He felt like I was slighting him, and I would never slight him in a way that would probably make him go and have to respond to things like that, you know what I mean? I respected the hell out of him. We’ve been through our own battles as teammates, as competitors together. So, like that’s all part of it, bro,” Irving said to Eddie Gonzalez on the latest episode of “The ETCs”.
“It’s all fun, but when you gotta — like, when you gotta — go and communicate through alternative channels, that only makes things worse. You feel me? You know what I mean? That’s like water under the bridge in terms of how people perceive what’s being said and then how I actually meant it.”
Nets GM Still Undecided on Kyrie Extension
Kyrie only played 29 games for the Nets this season after refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This caused him to miss the first four months of the season after the team sidelined him completely because he was not allowed to play home games at Barclays Center under the city’s vaccination rules. Irving will be eligible to sign a four or five-year max extension with the Nets on July 1. Even though he is, in many ways, one of the NBA’s most irreplaceable talents, Nets general manager Sean Marks says that the team remains undecided on if they will offer him a max extension.
“We have not had a conversation yet. So, I look forward to getting in a room with him and Joe and his team, and we will. We’ll see what it looks like for Kyrie moving forward here, and what he needs from us and so forth,” Mark said of a potential Kyrie extension per NetsDaily.
“So, again, it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know. We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do, we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
Kyrie’s future with the Nets remains uncertain. It will be interesting to see where the chips fall in the aftermath of the upcoming free agency period.