Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game saw the reunion of Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving and his former teammate LeBron James. James, now suiting up for the 13th place Los Angeles Lakers, was a captain in the February 19 event. He selected Irving 17th overall in the All-Star draft, making him the third starter selected as the reserves were picked first.
While many may have seen LeBron’s pick as just another part of the All-Star festivities, there were some who looked at it a bit deeper.
NBA legend Vince Carter weighed in on the February 20 edition of ESPN’s Get Up, sharing that he believes that James’ selection of Irving was part of a larger plan to recruit Uncle Drew to LA, once his contract expires this summer.
“Plant that seed right now,” Carter said. “More than likely we probably will see Kyrie in a Laker uniform because of this.”
On top of picking him to play on his team, James also showered Irving with praise any chance he got.
“It’s always good to see him,” he told reporters following Sunday’s game. “I’m very proud of him. Very proud of the man that he has become in his life right now.”
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was alongside Carter on Get Up. He echoed Vinsanity’s message, saying that he thought LeBron’s All-Star antics were part of a “free agent maneuver.”
“This is absolutely a free agent maneuver, LeBron picking him, LeBron praising him,” he theorized.
Windhorst went on to explain that it’s likely too soon to predict what will happen with Irving this summer.
“It’s still way too early how it’s going to work out in Dallas [for Irving]. When the microphones are on it’s a good idea to make it sound like he wants to be his best friend again.”
Mavs’ Kyrie Irving Discusses Early Weeks Alongside Luka Doncic
Though the talking heads have hammered the “Kyrie to LA” narrative, he seems to be enjoying Dallas quite a bit in his first few weeks.
During his All-Star media availability, Irving discussed his first few weeks playing alongside Luka Doncic, saying he looks forward to continuing to get know his Mavericks co-star.
“I’ve only been around him for two weeks. But we’ve had incredible dialogue being at the arena and also being at the practice facility for a little bit, we get to know each other a little bit,” he told reporters on February 18. “I’m looking forward to the time that we have after this All-Star Break where we have some home games, we can break some bread with our families, and just really include everybody that’s gonna be on this journey with us.”
Mavs’ Kyrie Irving Defends Trade Requests
The Mavericks landed Irving as part of the fallout from his trade request from the Brooklyn Nets. Since the move, the 30-year-old has been on the receiving end of criticism from both fans and members of the media.
He used his platform at All-Star Weekend to defend himself and other players who have been criticized after requesting trades.
“It’s a bad situation,” Irving told the press Saturday. “Why doesn’t anyone have the ability to ask for trades? That’s my question. When did it become terrible to make great business decisions for yourself and your happiness and peace of mind? Not every employer you’re going to get along with, so if you have the chance to go somewhere else and you’re doing it legally, I don’t think there’s a problem with it.”