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Can You Blame Kyrie Irving For Wanting Out?

To serve in Heaven or rule in Hell?

The Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers may lose Kyrie Irving, one of their key cogs. If so, it’ll be his own doing.

Cleveland’s point guard is always going to be second fiddle on the Cavs as long as LeBron James is there. It’s like you’re the running back playing alongside Tom Brady. You’re there, and you’re contributing, but you’re never going to be the star.

That is the situation in which Kyrie Irving finds himself, now requesting to be traded by the Cavs. During the 2016-17 season, he averaged 25.2 points per game, and nudged this up to 25.9 in the playoffs.

And If They Trade Kyrie Irving?

Cleveland will keep plugging along because they have LeBron James. That’s obvious, given the guy goes to the Finals every year. Sidekicks come and go for James, and though Irving is a good one, they’ll adapt.

Irving has evidently asked himself the question of if it is better to serve in Heaven or rule in Hell. Since he’s listing trade destinations like the Knicks, one might say the latter. To be fair, he also mentioned the Spurs, showing perhaps he wants to play for a winner after all.

Cleveland can exact a heavy price for Irving’s services. Any number of lousy teams, and there are about 20 compared to the Warriors and Cavs, could put him to good use. Thing is, he ain’t coming for free, unless the general manager is a moron.

Other Possible Factors

Richard Jefferson suggested that the Cavs are a franchise “in flux.” Citing turnover with coaches and trade rumors, Jefferson finds Irving’s lot to be undesirable. Making the Finals basically by showing up doesn’t smack of instability, but it’s possible.

Or, maybe he doesn’t want to play with LeBron anymore. We will never know what he’s thinking, because we’re not Kyrie Irving. For all we know, he could hate the team and the city. One thing we do suspect is that since the news broke, James is done with him.

Ultimately, if he is thinking that he’s always going to be in LeBron’s shadow, he’s right. Most people would be, given that James is among the best players in NBA history. That’s hard to overcome, no matter how good you are. Make no mistake, Irving is not going to be the next LeBron wherever he goes, but he evidently wants to lead a team. He can’t do that in Cleveland, and you can’t fault him for wanting to try.

It just might not be quite so easy for him to go deep in the playoffs.

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