As THIS week began the turmoil inside the Cleveland Cavaliers reached a debilitating crescendo of the chaos that has engulfed the franchise since it became known public that Kyrie Irving demanded to be traded.
Recently, the Cavs star guard went to owner Dan Gilbert and essentially complained about his role with the team and requested a trade, declaring that he could not co-exist with The King, LeBron James.
James had knew of Irving discontent several weeks before and so too did teammates and players throughout the league, but instead said nothing and took the high road as he has always done.
Just as James has kept a low-key profile on all of the Cavs off-season decisions or lack thereof, he then made public that he would not waive his no-trade clause. As if that statement was necessary amid Kid Kyrie’s ranting demands.
Players in the NBA often demand trades for various reasons, but this scenario ranks right up there with Kobe Bryant demanding to be traded because he no longer wanted to play with Shaquille O’Neal in 2004.
Bryant in the same position as Kid Kyrie at the time was the younger of the two stars and Lakers owner Jerry Buss decided to keep Bryant and trade O’Neal to the Miami Heat.
The Lakers acquired forward Lamar Odom, forward Caron Butler, forward Brian Grant and a future first round draft pick from the Heat in exchange for O’Neal.
It was the break-up of one of sports great dynasties, simply because two sure fire Hall of Fame greats could not put their differences aside. They had won three championships together and would have won more for sure.
Bryant averaged 27 points the year he forced Shaq out and then captured the NBA scoring title the following season with 35, then 31 and 28, but the Lakers didn’t win a damn thing during that time.
Kobe went on to win two more titles and then finished his 20-year Lakers career with a 60 point performance on roughly 50 shots.
His final contract of $48 million prevented the Lakers from replenishing its roster and Kobe was left all alone on a losing franchise that is still recovering.
Bryant’s selfishness personified his career, while Shaq was beloved, Bryant was despised and the rape incident in Colorado where he ratted out fellow teammates just buried him and what was left of his brand.
By the time Kobe had retired it was more of good riddance, not goodbye.
Kid Kyrie has a long way to go to be compared to Kobe the player, but his selfish personality is already right on par.
The tandem of Kid Kyrie and King James has only netted one NBA title in three consecutive trips to The Finals in a climate when two stars is barely enough to get you into the second round of the playoffs.
As gifted as Irving is as a basketball player he is equally as flawed as a teammate and then he violated the Kobe Rule of airing dirty laundry or in this case calling out one of his teammates to force a trade.
Like with Kobe he went right after the best player, basically saying it’s going to be me or him.
What truly complicates matters for the Cavs is they have absolutely no control over what James will do, thus the only one they do control is Kid Kryrie.
Like Kobe he has forced their hand, and he can no longer coexist with the best player in the world.
Ironically, James has always been a teammate that players want to play with. Kobe could not attract a fly to a can of trash to play with him in his final years.
Kid Kyrie has ultimately exposed himself beyond Cleveland, because now what will prevent him from duplicating his demand somewhere else.
People will remember LeBron James is the reason the Cavs were able to draft Irving, and most of the moves the Cavs made post LeBron was made to entice him to return.
And return he did, and each year the Cavs have played for a championship. They won one in ’16 as LeBron captured the MVP.
So, good riddance Kid Kyrie, here’s wishing you the best…