What makes Kyrie Irving happiest? It’s the question we all need to ask ourselves in any area of life. It’s the same questions we failed to ask when LeBron went to Miami, but in reflection realized made the most sense.
By the time Kevin Durant chased a ring going to the Warriors we had a better understanding of this line of thinking. He had to hurt a city in the process, but we all knew what he was doing. He was doing what was best for his future.
Is it selfish? Sure, but his wants and needs don’t have to align with yours to be the right call for him.
What makes this different is that Kyrie is requesting a trade with an unknown destination as his future. He has zero say in where he goes since he doesn’t hold a no trade clause. You can give the reported list of the teams like the Spurs and the Knicks, but you’re playing Russian Roulette with your career. How does this make Kyrie happiest? How does this put him in a better situation than the one he’s in right now? I’m coming up blank.
I don’t know how LeBron doesn’t take this as anything but a shot at himself with this line of thinking. With no control over where he goes, he’s telling the rest of the NBA he would rather play for literally anyone over James.
The role in LeBron’s legacy is a tough one to play. Chris Bosh and Kevin Love have played their part seamlessly. Both future hall of famers that were willing to be selfless for the greater good. Dwyane Wade already had his own title before LeBron, his legacy was never dependent on LeBron’s success. Irving clearly feels that his is, and always will be, as long as he’s paired with number 23.
I am surprised Kyrie didn’t want to stay patient and wait for LeBron to hand off the reigns. The King has to slow down eventually and the assumption was that Kyrie would take over then. He saw elevated scoring this past season and a more defined role, that continued arc clearly wasn’t enough.
Can’t Kyrie’s frustrations be the same as LeBron’s? At the podium after the NBA Finals, we heard LeBron realize the gap between the Warriors and the Cavs was greater than we all imagined. With an off-season of just Jose Calderon added to the mix, maybe Kyrie didn’t want to go through a season with an impending outcome? It’s not a stretch to wonder if Kyrie saw the writing on the wall for the upcoming season and decided he didn’t want to waste his age 25 season to come in second.