The talk of the sports world over the weekend was the news that broke on Friday about Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving requesting a trade. Plenty of sports personalities have weighed in with their thoughts since the announcement, but we’ve yet to hear directly from any of the players on the team. That changed yesterday when the latest episode of Richard Jefferson’s podcast, Road Trippin’ With RJ And Channing, dropped.
On the podcast, which was recording when the news broke on Friday, Jefferson spoke extemporaneously about what he thinks Kyrie is going through right now and what the reasons might be behind his request. Take a listen to the full episode, the Kyrie talk begins right around the 35 minute mark.
“Is it true? I’m finding out kind of now. This is what I will say about this, and by the time this gets out, whenever we air this in a few days, I don’t know. I don’t think that there’s a power struggle with LeBron and Kyrie, Kev. I think Kyrie is a hyper-intelligent kid. Really, really smart. Doesn’t get enough credit for how smart he is. And I think seeing that the franchise is in flux, I think seeing Griff leave and the amount of coaches. I think Kyrie has had a much tougher time in this stretch of the organization than anyone really ever wanted to fully — He’s a No. 1 pick right after LeBron. Then he has three different coaches. Then LeBron comes back. Now, there’s trade rumors. Now, it’s LeBron leaving.
At some point in time, anybody would want some sort of stability. Even if it’s the unknown. And I’m not saying that — I don’t know if he asked to be traded. I don’t know this. But I will say that he’s had a tougher time if you look at from start to where we are right now — the ups and downs of a franchise — more than most.”
Jefferson went on to acknowledge that yes the team’s been successful and yes Kyrie has been an All-Star, but the amount of ups and downs combined with the continued uncertainty surrounding LeBron’s future could be “tough on anybody”. The speculation about where Kyrie might end up continues, but Jefferson at least, seems to be empathetic with what his teammate is going through.
(H/T For The Win)