Five Perfectly Logical And Understandable Reasons Why Kyrie Irving Would Want Out Of Cleveland » VSB

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Five Perfectly Logical And Understandable Reasons Why Kyrie Irving Would Want Out Of Cleveland

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Perhaps you might have heard that Kyrie Irving asked to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers. And that he apparently made this request as early as last year, soon after the Cavs won the championshipAnd that the Cavs were already attempting to trade him this summer, and that this is part of the reason why (former) Cavs general manager David Griffin was let go last month. And that, before Kyrie made his request this year, Lebron was already pushing for him to be traded for Chris Paul. And that Kyrie has ceased contact with the Cavs. And that Lebron claimed to be blindsided and disappointed by Kyrie’s trade request. And that Lebron’s mom’s ex-husband — a middle-aged struggle trap rapper called “Lambo” —  inexplicably inserted himself into this too.

Anyway, the general consensus towards Kyrie’s request seems to be “wtf are you doing, man?” He seems to be in a perfect situation. Playing with Lebron, which allows him to maximize his strength (conjuring buckets out of thin air), minimize his primary weakness (general playmaking), and also ensures that he’ll be on national TV 40 nights a year and will likely be in the NBA Finals again next year. This exposure — plus his aesthetically pleasing game — has helped him be one of the NBA’s five biggest stars despite being maybe the 15th or 20th best player right now. Also, he just turned 25. And if the rumors are true and Lebron is determined to leave Cleveland next year, the Cavs could be Kyrie’s team for the next half decade.

Basically, Kyrie is (at best) misguided and (at worst) like the dumbest motherfucker that ever lived.

Or, perhaps, he isn’t at all.

1. You know that Drake song “Shot For Me” where he establishes himself as the perhaps the Kappaiest nigga of all-time?

The way you walk, that’s me
The way you talk, that’s me
The way you’ve got your hair up, did you forget that’s me?
And the voice in your speaker right now, that’s me
And the voice in your ear, that’s me

Well, a popular sentiment about Kyrie is that Lebron is his Drake, and that all of his successes can be attributed to playing with the King. If this were you, and you (rightly) believed yourself to be as talented as Kyrie believes himself to be, wouldn’t that bother you a bit? Wouldn’t you want an opportunity to prove everyone wrong — especially when you’re about to enter your athletic prime? Like, I don’t realize if the people who lob this criticism at him realize this is exactly the reason why it makes sense for him to bounce.

2. The Cavs are still owned by Dan Gilbert, who is still the worst person in professional sports. And in Kyrie’s six NBA seasons, he’s played for four different coaches and has had three different general managers. There are Jenga castles on buckets of urine more stable than the Cavs’ front office. Even if Lebron leaves after next season, Kyrie has zero reason to have any faith that they’ll stop being a dumpster fire whose only saving graces are being lucky enough to exist a hour away from the hometown of the greatest basketball player since Michael Jordan and being shitty enough after Lebron dumped them to luck themselves into three number one picks

3. Speaking of Lebron, the idea that he makes the game easier for his teammates is a bit of a misnomer. There’s no doubt that for role players, Lebron’s engulfing magnanimity practically force-feeds prime opportunities (and lucrative contracts) for them. But, for players whose skillsets are greater, it forces them to shrink themselves to find space on the King’s court. We saw it with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. And we see it with Kevin Love and Kyrie. And with a player like Kyrie — who began playing with Lebron when he was 21 — you could argue that it’s actually stunted his growth. While circumstances forced many of his contemporaries (namely Steph Curry, John Wall, and Damian Lillard) to develop and learn to lead on steeper curves, Kyrie has had Lebron there and hasn’t had to grow the way he would have had to as the face of the franchise because Lebron is the undisputed alpha there.

Let me put it this way — and I know this analogy is awkward and maybe terrible, but bare with me — it’s basically the difference between living on your own at 18 and living with your parents. Although living with your parents (in certain contexts) might be easier, living on your own — and learning, on the fly, how to cook, clean, and budget — forces you to grow in a way that living with your parents just can’t replicate. And while Wall and Steph and Dame have been learning how to run their own households, Kyrie’s spent the last three years as a guest in someone else’s, and we’ll never know if there’s another level of his game to unlock if Lebron has all the keys.

4. As great as Lebron is, he is a passive-aggressive dramatic — as his lie about being blindsided by Irving’s request clearly exhibits — and I can imagine that it can be exhausting working with someone like that. Lebron has also held the entire franchise hostage by refusing to communicate his plans for 2018. And, if you’re Kyrie, why wait for Lebron to dictate your future — especially since he clearly has no problem dictating yours for you?

5. Cleveland is Cleveland.

And look, I’m from Pittsburgh. Which is basically Cleveland without a suntan. So I’m not going to shit on the rust belt. Because I love it. And shitting on a rusty belt might give me MRSA.

But Cleveland is Cleveland. There’s a reason Bone Thugs n Harmony began Creepin On Ah Come Up with “Cleveland is the city where we come from, so run run.” Because they’re saying “we’re getting the fuck outta this dank hellscape, and y’all need to come with us.”

Ultimately, the general negative sentiment about Kyrie’s request is, if not surprising, hypocritical. For the last half decade, the biggest and most consistent complaint about the league is that all of its stars are conspiring to play together and form superteams instead of beating each other. And Kyrie’s request is essentially saying “You know what? I agree! Lemme see if I can lead a team without Lebron!”

Perhaps you don’t think he’s good enough to do that. But don’t you want him to try?

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Glo

    “Kappaiest n***a of all-time.” I am deceased.

  • Simms~

    Speaking of MRSA, the camp sent home letters this week that 1) a camper had antibiotic-resistant MRSA and 2) a camper might have had lice. Yeah…this is her last week at that camp. Amen and Ashe.

    • Jesus!! I don’t blame you!

    • Cleojonz

      OMG the first week of camp – like 3 days in we got the lice email. I was like WTF already??!!! Crisis averted though. I CANNOT go through that again.

      Yesterday we got the somebody got strep email, but my girls are at sleepway and this happened back at regular camp so phew, another crisis averted.

      • Simms~

        Ppl can be so dirty. Aargh.

        • SororSalsa

          As a person who regularly got strep in childhood, I hope that doesn’t imply that I was dirty. I was raised by a scouring pad. Just the bad luck to be overly susceptible, I guess.

          • Simms~

            Was referring to the lice really. I know strep is a common occurrence and basically once you get it once it seems to follow you regularly after that. No intent to offend.

    • Val

      Yikes.

    • miss t-lee

      NOPE.

  • I don’t give not even half a dayum about basketball but Kyrie’s line up is speaking to my spirit and i don’t even like that negro!! GODDAYUM!

    • Love Heals

      Sis, I claim to care about basketball, but it really comes down to aesthetics. Those brothers be having a look and build I like. Cheezin’ as I type!!! Damon’s article gave me more balance and perspective. Between bits of ESPN radio and glimpses of articles, I had the nerve to feel bad for LeBron (with my non-millionaire, not–yet- at– the- top- of- my- game- self). Smh.

      • Yeah.. but my zero interest having ayus is leaving me like meh!

        • Love Heals

          Fair enough. Lol.

  • Aaron Judge is out here performing like a baby Mike Trout. I can’t wait until Gleyber Torres comes up from the minors. The Yankees future looks bright. Hopefully they can find some pitchers. I don’t get the people advocating that they start giving away prospects to compete this season. There’s no reason to assume they’re out of it already as everyone is tied up in the East and I’d rather a potential 10 year window than a simple playoff push this year. There’s always Bryce Harper as a monster free agency deal next year.

  • JulianWithTheRedCorvette

    Shouldn’t leaving Cleveland, Ohio be an end in and of itself?

    • Kas

      This!

  • As for this topic, isn’t him already having a championship a big reason why he wants to leave? He already has the thing players die for so early in his career. He can survive going through another rebuilding process.

    • cysinblack

      Equivalent to winning an Oscar just so you can headline a TV show because the money’s better.

      • don’t attack Idris Elba’s career.

        • cysinblack

          You mean Ali?

  • cedriclathan

    Interesting perspective. Made perfect sense to me. I don’t really care (born and raised in the SF Bay, long time Warrior fan) as long as it weakens LeBron.

  • Cleojonz

    Basketball season is over. Bring on the football. And that is all.

    • Love Heals

      Once again, my primary interest in American football is good-looking brothers. But that there sport? I really wouldn’t want any men I love playing it. Potentially wealth-building, buuuut possibly death and damage-inducing. The Aaron Gibson article on Bleacher Report didn’t help.

      • miss t-lee

        As Shannon Sharpe said so eloquently (hush!) yesterday:

        .@ShannonSharpe on CTE: I would still play football again. pic.twitter.com/pyJShV7TX8— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 26, 2017

        • Love Heals

          I respect the brother’s decision in much the same way I do a soldier who chooses to enlist. It’s a heck of a sacrifice and the person has to come to terms with it, but damn, it’s a lot.

          • miss t-lee

            Indeed. It is a lot.

        • Me

          This is the very definition of exploiting the vulnerable in my opinion. Taking advantage of folks who have such little access to security and making it okay for them to sacrifice their lives because it’s the only way they could feasibly support their families falls under the same category as testing dangerous drugs on military personnel who likely didn’t have the option to say no even if they did know the effects they would have. These franchises have made sports the golden ticket out of the hood, and now even young children are sacrificing their health for the blip of a chance to do it. It’s easy to say you’d do it again when you’re one of the few that made it into a franchise that can afford the research, meanwhile, 98% of the kids that are putting themselves through this from the age of 4 and up won’t have nearly the resources to try and stave off the late stage damages they’ll end up dealing with despite suffering from the same illness. The economically insecure and disenfranchised will overwhelmingly opt to go for the long shot because of this kind of thinking, but will any of them ever be diagnosed and advocated for?

          • miss t-lee

            I don’t have answers, but I feel like most believe the benefits outweigh the risks. And for the majority those benefits are handsome, and folks are well aware of the risk involved.

      • Cleojonz

        I agree with you. My son played football but if he were trying to play today knowing what we know now the answer would be no.

        John Urschel of the Ravens just announced his retirement after that huge CTE study came out. He’s a mathematician and he said that the last concussion he had he could definitely feel his higher order reasoning diminished and it took a while to get back from that.

        • Love Heals

          Wow, scary that he (Urschel) could feel the difference. I thank God your son is okay.

    • miss t-lee

      Hallelu.

    • cysinblack
      • cysinblack

        No one has said a word about these groceries?

    • Monica Harris

      Are we not boycotting the NFL over the Kaepernick thing?

  • Rastaman

    The flat earther is just being petulant, the pay you $18M a year to play sidekick to the greatest ball player of your generation and you mad son, WTF!!
    He got tired of having is IG thirst traps have to come visit him in Cleveland?
    I think Kyrie is probably the best scoring guard in the NBA, even better than Steph, is inside and outside game are excellent but I also remember his Cleveland teams before Lebron came back, he would score 50 and they would still lose by 10. Kyrie sounds like he got tired of winning and even though I am a Knicks fan and he expressed interest, I would be weary of dudes who gets paid what he wants, gets all the minutes and all the shots he wants, goes to the Finals 3 years in a row and has to play co-star to the greatest player of his generation and is disgruntled. What is his complaint again, sounds like some rich white people problems to me.
    Durant at least waited until his contract was up and couldn’t see a way the Thunder were going to get better in the short term.

  • No, Damon. Just no.

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