During a conversation on Instagram Live, with Ryan Hollins, former Cleveland Cavaliers big man, Brendan Haywood claims that Kyrie Irving had an issue with LeBron James got during their Cleveland Cavaliers tenure.
“Stars in the NBA get special treatment,” said Haywood.
“Even more so than the NFL. Here’s an example — we could be doing a two-ball drill; you remember the dribbling drill that we used to start off with practice, the two-ball drill? You remember in his career he had the cigar injury? He has an index finger that doesn’t bend, right? So he couldn’t do the two-ball drills. It was the damndest thing in the world; the greatest player of all time he could not do the the two-ball drill. He could do the basics but, when the other guards were doing all the fancy dribbling, he couldn’t do it so he hated it and he would never do it, so he would always sit that out. He was like, “I ain’t doing that. I don’t need that, I’m doing the Triangle…” ok…nobody else could do that but Mike COULD do that.”
“But stars get star treatment. Like ‘Bron will walk into practice or walk into shoot around and say something like, “Joe Harris, you’re doing shoot around with me today.” Ok. Can’t nobody else do that. That’s star treatment. No one cared. You know why? Because he was the BEST player in the world! When the lights were on and they were the brightest, at 7 o’clock he turned it up. And guess what? If he didn’t want to go through shoot around; and I don’t know why he doesn’t want to go to shoot around…. it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t want to go to shoot around. He’s gonna do his thing at 7 o’clock and we all knew this. And I think to certain degree, that’s what started a little riff between him and Kyrie. Because Kyrie started to see that special treatment that he never got — Randy Mims gets to fly on the team plane; this is ‘Bron’s best friend?… He gets to team meetings? We’re in the room watching film and Randy Mims is in there… like, what? But Kyrie NEVER got that treatment. After time that starts to wear on people. That didn’t wear on the regular guys because they’re regular dudes. ‘Bron is taking them to a championship; so preferential treatment is not new in this league. Preferential treatment for a number #2 star? Now I ain’t never seen that! On the Last Dance I didn’t see Scottie Pippen say that he wasn’t coming to practice. Now I’ve always seen preferential treatment for Batman. I ain’t never seen it for Robin!”
That thought process is seemingly in alignment with what Ryan Hollins said on the Scoop B Radio Podcast this summer.
“Kyrie learned some poor leadership from LeBron,” Hollins told me.
“And some of the stuff he did and I think Kyrie tried to come into his own in a different way.”
“This is the first time in my career I can look down and be like…that motherf***er can make that shot too.”
Irving later took to social media and infered that he wasn’t dissing James. “Why must it always be brother against brother,” Irving said in a video.
“Why? If I’m addressing anyone, I’ll say their name.”
James responded on the Road Trippin Podcast. “I played with Kyrie for three seasons,” James told Richard Jefferson.
“The whole time while I was there, I only wanted to see him be an MVP of our league. I only cared about his success and it just didn’t align. It just didn’t align and we was able to win a championship. That’s the craziest thing. We [were] still able to win a championship and we could never align, but I only cared about his well-being both on and off the floor and it kind of hurt me a little bit.”