Forgive Damian Lillard for not understanding why Kyrie Irving wants to leave the best player in basketball.
Damian Lillard is having quite a summer. He’s been recruiting Carmelo Anthony to the Portland Trail Blazers, and the point guard is also chiming in on the latest news surrounding Kyrie Irving. It’s pretty big.
Irving reportedly wants a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was puzzling to many in the NBA, and Damian was definitely surprised.
“I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to The Finals every year? I think they’ve been to the Finals the last three years,” Lillard said to Sports Illustrated. “I would love to do that. I don’t know because I’ve never played with LeBron, but just watching from the outside, you see how easy he makes the game for everybody else. I don’t know what it’s like playing with LeBron the person, but the player, I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t want to play with him.”
In a private meeting with management, Irving apparently cited jealousy of peers like Damian and John Wall, because those dudes are known as franchise players. The rumor that LeBron James might leave the Cleveland Cavaliers next summer probably has something to do with all of this as well.
Irving was drafted by the Cavaliers six years ago, and he signed a long extension just weeks before LeBron returned home. Cleveland has been to the NBA Finals in three straight seasons since James came back.
In fairness, Lillard also said he “respects” Kyrie’s decision, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate agreement.
The Cavaliers have a lot to figure out between now and the start of this season. If they get a good offer for Kyrie, then they should absolutely take it. Chemistry is so important in a sport like basketball. There aren’t many players in the locker room, and if a roster’s stars don’t get along, then that team is in for some real trouble.
Irving and James have probably played their last game together. That is a shame, and guys like Lillard, who has never even sniffed the NBA Finals, just don’t get it.