LeBron James says that Kyrie Irving’s feedback indicating a insecurity within the late recreation’s talents “damage me somewhat”.
Months ago, LeBron James bit his tongue when Kyrie Irving’s comments on Kevin Durant’s podcast appeared to diminish the Los Angeles Lakers star’s late game ability. Now James has spoken about his former teammate’s attitude to having his own podcast appearance.
James, who appeared on the Road Trippin podcast with Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, and Allie Clifton as a guest, responded to Irving’s comments – in which Irving praised Durant as the first teammate he could trust as he trusts himself making the final shot of the game – in an episode that aired on Spectrum SportsNet on Monday.
“I was a bit like ‘Damn’. After getting the full transcript, I said ‘Damn,'” James said, adding that he made sure to read Irving’s full comments before responding. “I didn’t say, ‘Oh, you’re tripping’. I’ve made game-winning strokes all my life. ‘I wasn’t like that. I said,’ Damn. ‘ Because … I played three seasons with Kyrie [with the Cleveland Cavaliers]. The whole time I was there, I just wanted to see him as our league’s MVP. I only cared about its success. And it just didn’t match. It just didn’t match. And we could win a championship. That’s the craziest thing. We could still win a championship and never have been able to align. But I only cared about his well-being, both on and off the floor.
“And it hurt me a bit.”
The Brooklyn Nets security guard’s comments, published on the first episode of Durant’s podcast, “The Etcs,” just days before James and the Lakers played the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the October NBA Finals, let James’ skills in the hitch time when Irving was considering his basketball career.
“One thing I’ve always been comfortable with is that I felt like the best option on any team I’ve played for on the track,” Irving said on the podcast. “This is the first time in my career that I have looked down and asked, ‘This mother can take this shot too.’ And he’ll probably make it a lot easier.
“It’s not postponing that much because I’ve felt guilty in previous situations where I didn’t take the last shot. I want that game-winning shot, but you want to trust your team-mates too. Not that I don’t take my team-mates I felt I was the best option. “
Irving and James played together from 2014 to ’17, made it to three consecutive finals, and won everything in 2016. They were the first teammates to each to score 40 points in a final game as they led the Cavs back from a 3. 1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors.
James said the timing of Irving’s comments was as disappointing as their content.
“It was a good time. It was a good time,” said James. “Because it was the final … the middle of the final.”
Though James said he got used to distractions as his teams neared the championship – a racist epithet was sprayed on the gate of his LA home gate on the eve of the 2017 final, for example – Irving’s comments were inevitable.
“It’s always been something that distracted me in the final, to distract me from my mission. So I was ready for it … I was always ready to know that it was going to happen.” something can be said or done to deter me from my mission, “said James.” When I saw this and read it and then got the full log and heard it, I said, ‘Man, f —‘. I said, “Are you kidding me?” … I said ‘god damn it’. “
James reflected on his time with Irving in Cleveland and laughed as he remembered his son Bryce was “super juiced” for his father to play for the Cavs because Irving was like that in the video games Bryce played was dominant.
James was also amazed at Irving, who was just 22 years old when they teamed up on the Cavs.
“Ky is one of the most talented players I’ve ever played with in my life. The kid – I don’t even want to call him ‘kid’. He’s not a kid anymore, but he was back then. He was a little kid that still grew into his own, and the s — that he was capable of on the ground I’d never seen before, “said James. “I had so much faith in him. I actually told Kyrie, I told him once, when we were playing together, that if you weren’t a league MVP one day you would sell yourself. Because I believed in him so much . ” .
“And it was part of the reason I returned home. In addition to the ongoing deal, I returned home because I saw the talent in him.”
James said he tried to keep Irving out of control when they were playing together.
“Whenever the media asked questions about Kyrie – and we’ve had several times the media wanted to talk about Kyrie – I was the buffer,” said James. “I said, ‘No, listen, you’re stumbling. This boy is young, he’s great, he’s going to study, I’m here to help him study and I know what he’s going to be.’
“And sometimes, you know, you stand out there and get hit in the mouth when you’re not ready for it.”
Irving hasn’t gotten a vote for MVP, let alone won the award, since trading with the Boston Celtics in 2017. In his last three seasons, he has played nine postseason games in his last three seasons with Boston and Brooklyn. after 52 playoff games in his three seasons with James.
Shortly after Irving’s comments on James went online, the high scoring guard posted a series of Twitter videos relating to the “false stories” that surfaced when it was discovered he was shooting at James.
“Why does it always have to be brother against brother … why?” Irving said in early October. “When I speak to someone, I say their name. Come on. Don’t listen to the wrong stories. Let people live their lives! It’s just a game.
“You speak openly. You speak freely. But because we live in a clickbait society, it becomes something bigger. You don’t have to defend it. That’s exactly what the media is. … It’s entertainment. I won’t.” Let me put it against anyone at any point in time. Because it’s not about that. … I don’t have to face anyone! It was never about that. It’s about love. Peace. “
James, who signed a lifetime deal with Nike in 2015, shared another story about Irving on the podcast, claiming he helped develop a line of signature sneakers for his former teammate.
“The child is getting a signature shoe from Nike that we know has a small one [group] – I mean, of all of the players that have played in our league, of all of the players that have been in Nike, there aren’t many signature types, “said James.” And I thought, “That’s a signature guy. Because it’s not just his ability what he does on the floor. Not just his size. And his grip. His grip – kids love that. He’s going to have a following.” He’s a signature guy. ‘So I said to my guys at Nike, “Yeah, if you think so, stop thinking. He’s a signature guy. There’s nothing to think about.'”
The Lakers are expected to line up the nets in the first match of the season at the Staples Center on February 18.