What are you doing Kyrie?
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ tumultous offseason gained another soap-opera installment last Friday when news broke 25-year-old point guard Kyrie Irving asked Cavs owner Dan Gilbert for a trade to get away from LeBron James.
He sighted wanting to be on a team where he is the focal point as one of the top reasons for a trade.
He must have a very, very short memory.
We already saw Irving as the focal point of a team back before James made his triumphant return to northeastern Ohio in 2014.
How did it go?
Thanks for asking.
From his rookie season of 2011, when he won Rookie of the Year, to the formation of the Big 3 in 2015, teams led by Irving averaged 26 wins including back-to-back last place finishes in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Not exactly awe-inspiring numbers with the weight of a franchise on your shoulders.
And make no mistake about it … If the Cavs acquiesce to Irving’s demands he is going to a non-contender where his wish to be top dog from Day 1 will be granted no ifs, ands, or buts.
Chances of new GM Koby Altman trading him to a contender in the East or the West or his preferred destinations of Minnesota, San Antonio, Miami or New York are zero to none. The Cavs will be looking to get a lot of young talent and a draft pick or two back for the team’s embattled point guard, who has two years left on his deal.
I have tried hard to understand Irving’s thinking on this and can’t.
At least not this year anyway.
You have a greater than 80 percent chance of returning to the Finals for the fourth straight season, as evidenced by the lack of competition they faced in the Eastern Conference playoffs last year.
Sure, you might lose to the Warriors again … but you might win.
The Celtics did get better, but they are eyeing for competing for titles once LeBron leaves the Cavs. The Wizards have a good team yes but they haven’t been able to get out of their own way.
Why would you want to leave a proven winner for a team freshly depleted from acquiring you?
Maybe Irving doesn’t care about winning, which boggles my mind and probably Herm “You Play to Win the Game” Edwards’ noggin as well.
It is possible he saw the kind of control LeBron demanded on the Cavs’ roster make-up and thinks he can get some himself if he starts new somewhere else regardless of the situation?
James is going down as one of the best five players in league history and Gilbert was desperate to sell out Quicken Loans Arena like the good ole days during the King’s first stint with the Cavs.
It was the perfect storm for LeBron.
Reports from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer says a trade is imminent, but it is possible management calms Irving down much like the Lakers did after Kobe demanded a trade in 2007.
Kyrie may have already burned too many bridges for the team to be the same if he returns for the upcoming season though. Cleveland also went out and signed Derrick Rose to a one-year deal too recently.
What will happen? I don’t know. We all will have to stay tuned to find out.
I am left with just one question about this whole situation.
What are you doing Kyrie?
Contact Joe Albright at email@example.com.