Kyrie Irving was on the ESPN’s First Take to give his first interview since being traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that took him to three straight NBA Finals appearances. The underlying story was Irving’s purported rift with LeBron James, and host Stephen A. Smith went the extra mile to get some answers. When asked whether or not he spoke with Team Captain LBJ before he decided to prompt the league’s most sensationalized trade of the year, Irving responded with a smirking “No.” He also refused to answer co-host Max Kellerman’s behest to elaborate on his relationship with James.
Later on in the broadcast, Irving made it clear that there was no beef on his side. “I don’t think that you owe anything to another person in terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life,” he explained. “It’s not anything personal, I’m not here to tirade anybody or to go at any particular person or the organization because I have nothing but love for Cleveland. I have nothing but love for the time I spent there. It’s nothing about that. There comes a time where you mature as an individual, it’s time to make that decision. And there is no looking back from that standpoint. There is no time to figure out how to save somebody’s feelings when ultimately, you have to be selfish in figuring out what you want to do.”
There hasn’t been any response from LeBron on the issue. The 3 times NBA champion shared his yearning to have met Hip Hop’s mortal man, Tupac Shakur, and shared a clip of the late rap star speaking to kids in a classroom. He retweeted his pal, Maverick Carter, while plugging their Starz comedy series, Survivor’s Remorse, instead of responding to Irving. During summer Irving requested a trade from the Cavs and his wish was granted in exchange for the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick, NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Žižić.