Months ago, LeBron James Bites his tongue Kyrie IrvingComments on Kevin TorrentThe podcast seemed to denigrate the Los Angeles Lakers star’s late playing skills. Now, James has opened up about his former teammate’s own podcast look.
James, who appeared as a guest on Richard Jefferson, Channing Fry and Allie Clipton on the Rod Trip tripcast, addressed Irving’s comments – including believing Irving Durand was the first shot, the first team player he could trust to take the last shot – on Spectrum SportsBroad.
“I said a little, ‘Damn.’ Once I got the full transcript, I was like, ‘Damn,’ “James said, making sure he read Irving’s full comments before responding to them. “I’m not like, ‘Oh, you trip’, I ‘ve been playing games all my life. I’m not like that. I said,’ Damn. ‘ Because … I played with Kyrie for three seasons [with the Cleveland Cavaliers]. The whole time I was there, I only wanted to see him as the MVP of our league. I only noticed his success. It does not align. It is not aligned. We were able to win a championship. That’s the weird thing. We were able to win one more championship, we could never align. But I was only concerned about his well-being.
“It kind of hurt me a little bit.”
A few days before James and the Lockers played the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals in October, the comments of the Brooklyn Nets guard on the first episode of Durant’s podcast reflected James ‘basketball career avoiding James’ skills during clutch.
“One thing I was always comfortable with was feeling like I was the best choice for every team I played for,” Irving told the Podcast. “For the first time in my career I looked down and said, ‘That mother — er can even make that shot.’ He would make it so much easier.
“It’s not too late, because in past situations where I did not take the last shot, I felt guilty. I like the shot that won this game, but, you want to trust your teammates. I do not believe that my teammates, but I felt it was the best way.”
Irving and James played together from 2014 to 2017, winning three straight finals and all in 2016. They became the first pair to score 40 points per game in a final. Lack of defeat to the Golden State Warriors.
James said the timing of Irving’s comments was as disappointing as their content.
“This is an F Ed Ed time, this is an F Ed Ed time,” James said. “Because it’s the finals … the middle of the finals.”
Although James has said he has become accustomed to distractions as his teams close to the championship – spraying a racist name on the doorstep of his LA home before the 2017 final, for example – Irving’s comments are inevitable.
“It’s always been when I’ve been in the finals, trying to distract myself from my job, so I’m already ready for it … I’m always ready to get there. I may have been told or done something to knock me out of my job,” James said. “When I saw it, I read it, and then I got the whole transcript and heard it say, ‘Man, f —.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ … I said, ‘God.’
James reflected on his time with Irving in Cleveland, laughing when he remembered that his son Price was “super juice” to play for his dad Caves because Irving was so dominant in the video games that Price played.
James also surprised Irving, who was just 22 years old when he joined Caves.
“Guy is one of the most talented players I’ve ever played with in my life. Baby – I don’t even want to call him ‘baby’. He was no longer a kid, but he was then. He’s still a young kid growing up on his own, and he’s on the ground I ‘ve never seen before. Talented, “said James. “I had so much faith in him. I really told Kyrie, we told him at one point when we were playing together, that if you were not one day League MVP, you’l selling yourself short because I trusted him so much.
“That’s part of why I came back home. I came back home because I saw the talent in him, apart from the unfinished business.”
James said he tried to study Irving when they were playing together.
“The media would always ask questions about Kyrie – and we had many times when the media wanted Kyrie – I was in the buffer,” James said. “I said, ‘No, listen, you’re motivated. This kid is young, he’s big, he’s going to learn, I’m here to help him learn, I know what he’s going to become.’
“Sometimes, you know, get yourself out and you’ve got a mouthful when you’re not ready for it.”
Irving did not vote for MVP and won the award because he was traded in 2017 at the Boston Celtics. Injured, he has played in nine post-season games in the last three campaigns – having spent time with Boston and Brooklyn – after playing in 52 playoff games in his three seasons with James.
Shortly after Irving’s comments about James came live, the high – scoring guard posted a series of Twitter videos, citing “false stories” that emerged when he learned he was taking a shot at James.
“Why should it always be brother against brother … why?” Irving said in early October. “If I address anyone, I will say their name. Come on, everything. Don’t listen to false stories. Let people live their lives! This is a game.
“You speak openly, you speak freely. But because we live in a clickbite community, it’s going to get bigger. You do not have to defend it. That’s the media… This is entertainment. ..Don’t put me against anyone else! It’s never been. It’s about love. Peace. “
James, who signed a lifetime contract with Nike in 2015, shared another story about Irving on the podcast, saying the sportswear company has a hand in creating the signature sneaker line for its former teammate.
“The kid gets a signature shoe from Nike, which we know is a small thing [group]. I mean, all the players who played in our league, all the players who were on Nike, didn’t have a lot of signature guys, “James said.” I am a signed guy. Because it’s not just his ability, it’s what he does on the ground. Not only with his size. And his handle. His handle – the kids love it. He is going to get the following. That’s a signature guy. ‘So I was like, I said to my guys in Nike,‘ Yeah, if this is what you think, stop thinking of F-in. He’s a signature guy. Nothing to think about. ‘”
The Lockers are scheduled to host the Nets in their first game of the season on February 18 at the Staples Center.
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”