Photo Credit: USA Today
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving recently made headlines for requesting a trade so that he no longer will have to share the rock with LeBron James. LeBron honestly shouldn’t care about this whatsoever, and it’s not just because he stated that he would not intervene in the trade talks.
It may be because he’ll likely leave Cleveland for the second time following next season, switching teams for the third time in eight seasons. He can go pretty much anywhere he wants, with his most likely landing spots being the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers or Philadelphia 76ers.
But even if LeBron does stay at Cleveland beyond next season, he still has nothing to worry about if Kyrie is gone. While he may have lost his “best player in the world” status to Kevin Durant over the past few months, there is no doubt that LeBron is one of the greats and has more tools than perhaps any player in the history of the sport to make his teammates better. Without both Kyrie and Kevin Love in the 2015 NBA Finals, he powered his team to two wins in five games against the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. He truly can do it all, as evidence by his seven straight Finals appearances.
All other things being equal, LeBron is the only reason Kyrie is relevant. Before LeBron made his much anticipated return to The Land, Irving was nothing more than a slightly above average point guard on a team that was never even close to making the playoffs. Then LeBron came along and took the team to three straight NBA Finals series, and all of a sudden Kyrie starts getting all of this attention and Stephen Curry comparisons despite the fact that his stats and contributions to the Cavs never really took off until this past season when he put up a career-high 25.2 points per game.
Sure, he hit the game-winning shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. But while the shot may not have been lucky, he was certainly lucky in that he was the one taking it and that he will forever be remembered as the hero that sunk the 73-win Warriors into blowing the first ever 3-1 lead in the Finals. But again, in reality, LeBron was the only reason the Cavaliers stood a chance in that series; without him and his nearly triple double average that featured him as responsible for an average of over 50 of the team’s points per game in the series, the Cavs would have been toast.
LeBron should lose roughly 0 hours, 0 minutes and 0 seconds of sleep over Kyrie’s demands, give or take about 0.0 milliseconds. Anything more than that amount would be unprecedented for a man doing what he does.