One of the great “what ifs” in sports revolves around Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. The two played extremely well together with the Cleveland Cavaliers and it’s entirely possible that they would’ve won more than one championship if they could’ve just waited out the Golden State Warriors dynasty until Kevin Durant left. However, Irving eventually forced himself out and LeBron decided to leave for the Los Angeles Lakers once it was clear he didn’t have enough help in Cleveland anymore.
Irving hasn’t been back to the NBA Finals since leaving the Cavaliers while LeBron has been back twice, winning one title. Perhaps they’d both have more success had they stayed together. LeBron played a big role in why Kyrie left the Cavaliers, which strained their relationship.
The two have played nice with each other over the years but there could still be some tension between the two, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. During a segment on ESPN’s “This Just In,” Windhorst revealed that LeBron tried to get Kyrie on the Lakers when their relationship was in a good spot but it ended up making things tense again.
“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,” Windhorst said. “And he reached and attempted to mend fences. It lasted for a short time. When Kyrie didn’t choose the Lakers, their relationship went away again.”
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Irving Recently Explained Why He Wanted to Get Traded
Irving’s decision to request a trade in 2017 certainly wasn’t expected. The Cavaliers were consistently playing for championships and even won one while he was there. There was obviously more to him requesting a trade than the desire to win games. Many believed that he simply didn’t want to play with LeBron. Irving recently came out and shed light on the whole situation.
“I’m continuously reminded over and over again, ‘Yo, you left ‘Bron. How could you do that?’” Irving said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast. “You got his fanbase, you got my fanbase, and you got team fanbases going at it, ‘Yo why couldn’t this work?’ And I say this; I asked for a trade because I was looking for something different. I was a man of my word when I went to the organization, I sat the higher-ups down and said, ‘Look, I know y’all have future plans, tell me right now.’ They told me their future plans, I said, ‘Look, this isn’t for me.’”
Could LeBron & Irving Reunite?
Irving and LeBron were such a strong pairing because their games worked well together. LeBron was the leader who could control the game on both sides of the court while Irving was the offensive juggernaut who could make shots all over the court. LeBron has always played well with shooters and Irving is one of the best.
It has been several years since the two played together and both appear to be in situations that are stagnant. The Nets got swept in the first round of the playoffs while the Lakers didn’t even make the play-in tournament. As it happens, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant once formed one of the NBA’s best duos. Westbrook is now teammates with LeBron in Los Angeles while Durant is teammates with Irving in Brooklyn. Perhaps the two sides could work out a deal surrounding Irving coming to Los Angeles and Westbrook going to Brooklyn. It’s highly unlikely considering Durant and Westbrook have their own sets of issues. Plus, there’s the fact that Irving is a much better player than Westbrook at this point.