The deal is finally “officially” complete and Cavs No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving got his wish to be traded away from LeBron James to rival Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the 2018 1st round pick the Celtics acquired via Brooklyn, and Miami's 2020 2nd round pick.
A debate as to which team got the better of the deal can be deferred to the conclusion the 2017-18 season and beyond, but clearly the Cleveland Cavaliers made the absolute right decision to rid themselves of Kid Kyrie in advance of 2017 training camp.
Kid Kyrie is the current day Kobe Bryant, a brilliantly gifted offensive basketball player who can score at will on anyone, but I beg to differ that he is a foundational player that one can build a championship team.
Ironically, Kobe is Kyrie’s mentor. He texted him after the Cavs won the title and constantly stays in touch with him, doing everything he can t give him the Mambaism.
How many times have you heard the old cliché there is no I in team? Kid Kyrie spent six years in Cleveland; three of them as the leader of the team and the results were abysmal.
Let’s examine his record: In 2011-12 season he won Rookie of the Year as the Cavs floundered to 21-45 (13th) as life after LeBron sank in. The Cavs improved by three games to 24-58 (13th) the following season as he was named to his first All Star game, and then 33-49 (10th) in 2013-14 as he scored 44 points in the NBA All Star Game and was named MVP.
He ran off two Cavs coaches, who in hindsight were not very good, in Byron Scott and Mike Brown and he was combative during a playoff game substitution with current Cavs coach Tyron Lue.
Now, let’s be clear the Cavs would have never been in position to draft Kid Kyrie No. 1 had not LeBron took his talents to South Beach, but that investment was made because it was considered the start of a new era, instead it concluded as the end of an error.
As gaudy as the numbers are that he puts up night in and night out, as ruthless as his cross over dribble is, and his step-back game winning three point shots, Kid Kyrie is his own worse enemy.
When things don’t go right is always somebody else fault. During the playoffs he went days without even speaking to his teammates. His commitment to defense is questionable at best and makes him just as likely to give up as many points as he scores.
The Cavs ran so many isos for Kid Kyrie, that if you didn’t know any better who’d have thought the coach didn’t have any plays designed. It was one-flat from the top, one-flat from the side line and by the time Kid Kyrie was finished pounding the ball into the court, spinning and dealing, the shot clock had expired with the result of either a made shot or essentially a turnover.
I covered Kobe Bryant, and he was a really cool guy away from the court. However his insane zeal for greatness pushed away teammates in droves. There were times when he awkwardly tried to fit in as he got older, but by the end it was just too late.
Kobe got five rings, three of them as a by product with Shaq, another two with Pau Gasol while long gone Andre Bynum and current Rocket Trevor Ariza was instrumental in another while Kobe was the center piece.
Kid Kyrie has one ring. He made the game winning shot, LeBron made the game saving block and was deservingly named MVP.
Now, he’s gone. Lost in all of this is the Cavs signed Derrick Rose, a former MVP who was the face of the Chicago Bulls post Michael Jordan.
In this new era of the Big 3, the one constant that remains is the best TEAMS win championships.
The Warriors have won two of the last three because of their talent and unselfishness.
No player has sacrificed more of his game for the benefit of a team than LeBron. He did it in Miami and he has done it here in Cleveland since returning.
Who could argue that if LeBron wanted to he could lead the league in scoring every single year, but he knows it’s not about that. It’s about championships. Let’s see if Kid Kyrie is good enough to get one…on his own!