Now a member of the Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving admitted on ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday that he did not inform LeBron James of his trade request, nor did he feel the need to.
The NBA world was rocked by Irving’s trade request from the Cleveland Cavaliers in July, and soon thereafter, reports came out that said Irving no longer wanted to play second-fiddle to James.
On “First Take,” Irving admitted he wanted to be “selfish” with his decision to play for another team and said he did not think he had to talk to James about it first.
Here’s the transcript of the conversation with Stephen A. Smith:
Smith: Did you speak to LeBron James or talk to LeBron James before you and your representatives met with ownership before you let them know you wanted out?
Smith: Why not?
Irving: Why would I have to?
Smith: I’m not implying that you have to at all … If you don’t speak to somebody about it, they might take it personally.
Smith: Do you care about that at all?
Here is the video of the exchange:
Irving later said: “I don’t think you owe anything to another person in terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life. It’s not anything personal.”
Though some Cavs players have down-played the events leading to Irving’s trade request, from the sounds of it, Irving did want to go lead a team on his own. He said at his introductory press conference with the Celtics that he had not spoken to James.
Perhaps there really isn’t any ill will between James and Irving and perhaps they will speak in the near future. But in the meantime, Irving’s blunt response only makes the Cavs-Celtics season-opening game that much more interesting.
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