The last few months have been a mess for the Cavs. They lost the Finals, they missed out on Jimmy Butler & Paul George, they lost their GM, and now, their second best player reportedly wants out. But with all of the uncertainty surrounding the organization and speculation that LeBron may be on his way out next year, can you really blame him? I can honestly say I don’t blame Kyrie one bit for wanting to get out of that mess.
One of the reasons he reportedly wants out is because he is sick of playing Robin to LeBron’s Batman. If it weren’t for LeBron, Kyrie probably wouldn’t have had the chance to play in three straight NBA Finals, and win one of them. But I’ll say again, I don’t blame him for wanting out. Knowing how LeBron is, I can’t even imagine how annoying he must be to be around all day every day. Sure, you get a chance to play on the biggest stage year in and year out, but some people can only take so much of somebody until they feel like they’re about to erupt. LeBron is known for being a pre-madonna and extremely controlling. I wouldn’t want to be around that every day either, no matter how much we’re winning. Given the current state of the league, where we KNOW that the Cavs aren’t going to be able to knock off Golden State anytime soon, Kyrie isn’t necessarily dumb for wanting to join up with somebody else and to try and dismantle Golden State a different way. Kyrie is also a professional competitor and no player of his caliber wants to be considered an afterthought.
There is also a very strong sense that LeBron is going to be on his way out of Cleveland next year. We all know he isn’t happy with how management has handled this off-season, where they haven’t shown much aggressiveness. Their lack of aggressiveness, however, is due in large part to the fact that LeBron, a man with a $400M net worth, HAS to be the highest paid player on his team at $33M a year. He isn’t leaving the Cavs much flexibility to do anything. I’m sure Kyrie notices this, and maybe he knows something that we don’t about LeBron’s plans for next summer. I wouldn’t want to be left high and dry either. LeBron did it to Cleveland once already so I wouldn’t put it past him to do it again.
Kyrie Irving is a good enough player where if he were to walk into an organization, he makes them an automatic playoff team. He couldn’t lead the Cavs to a postseason appearance without LeBron but did anybody really expect him to with the roster he had? I probably could’ve made that team and I’m 5’9″ and extremely unathletic. He is also a far better player now than he was then. He has matured into one of the most elite scoring point guards in the NBA, and probably the best ball-handler in the league. He could take any of his preferred destinations (Knicks, Spurs, Timberwolves, Heat) to the playoffs in year one easily.
Will Kyrie make it to the Finals right away if he does make his way out of Cleveland? Probably not. But I really don’t like his chances of making it or even winning it in Cleveland next year, given where the Warriors are at right now, the absolute dumpster fire the Cavs are, and how the Celtics have loaded up this off-season. However, I can see him getting there in the future WITHOUT LeBron.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)