When you think of a ghost, what do you think of? Do you think of the disembodied form of the human spirit? What if I were to tell you that a living person could take on the role of a ghost? This is the curious case of Kyrie Irving.
Image: (SB Nation)
When the ESPN alert came across my phone that Kyrie had requested a trade, I didn’t believe my eyes. I was as naive as I was to the report that LeBron wanted out in 2010. Why would anyone want to leave a team that has LeBron James? This is the question that shook the sports world. Questions regarding LeBron’s teammate credibility became a formality. After long speculation regarding this accusation, the public gained more information. As the story dragged on, more facts came forward and the true reason behind why Kyrie left became more obvious. Jealousy was the root of the problem as Kyrie had long been Robin to LeBron’s Batman. Both players are alpha males and for one of them to take a backseat to any player is a shot to their pride. To make matters worse, Irving had overheard rumors that Dan Gilbert had been shopping him on the market. To Kyrie, this was the uttermost disrespect that management could show toward a superstar player: a player that brought the city a championship nonetheless. As a result of these two factors, Kyrie decided to ask Gilbert to be traded away. He didn’t care what team he was traded to, he just wanted out of the toxic situation that was the Cleveland Cavaliers at that time.
This situation sounds eerily similar to a former basketball great. Kobe Bryant requested a trade from the Lakers in 2007 due to the toxicity with management. Jerry Buss didn’t care if Kobe wanted to be traded or not. He knew that the best thing for his team was to keep their best player. This is the difference between a great owner and a terrible owner. Kobe and Buss eventually got over the bad blood and made up which paved the way for Kobe to stay in LA his entire career. Gilbert is an example of a terrible owner. He saw the shiny deal of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a first round draft pick that ended up being Collin Sexton, and didn’t hesitate. Little did he know that the three players he received for his superstar player would turn out to be nothing but roster spot place holders. Collin Sexton could turn out to be a great player for the future, but that is the only piece that was worth anything in the deal for Kyrie Irving. Dan Gilbert didn’t have to trade Irving, because he was under contract for two more years. Reports say that Irving would’ve had knee surgery if he wasn’t traded, but that’s all it was: a report. Who knows Irving’s actual mindset when it comes to this, but it is still believed by many that if Irving would’ve stayed, LeBron and the city of Cleveland could’ve convinced him to stay.
Image: (USA Today)
Last season was a disaster for the Cavs. A disaster that ended up being a sweep in the finals. 28 other teams would’ve loved to be in the position that the Cavs were in last year as they made the finals, but a team with the greatest player of all time is always a disappointment when they lose the NBA finals in embarrassing fashion. The pieces surrounding LeBron were not adequate enough to even take one game in the finals. Kevin Love is the Cavaliers second best player, but he doesn’t have the killer mindset that Kyrie used to have. If Kyrie was in a Cleveland uniform last season, the belief around Cleveland is that the series would’ve been close. I believe that the Cavs could have even won with their former star point guard. The possibilities are endless if Irving wouldn’t have decided to leave. The present and future of the city on the lake could’ve been extremely bright, but this is what ghosts do. They haunt the mind and make you wonder.
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