Cavaliers, Headlines

Report: Kyrie went days without speaking to teammates in playoffs

Throughout the last few weeks following Kyrie Irving’s trade request, many things have been said about the entire situation. What actually happened between LeBron James and Irving to actually cause this to happen? Did something happen between other teammates and Uncle Drew? When did the breakup actually begin? We can go on and on about potential questions (and answers) about it, but unless your name is Kyrie Irving, you don’t truly know his feelings and what led to him basically demanding a trade away from the wine and gold.

As a guest on The BBall Breakdown Podcast on Tuesday, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin stated that he talked to former Cavs guard James Jones, who is now the Phoenix Suns’ Vice President of Basketball Operations, and Champ opened up about what happened—or didn’t happen—during the postseason just a few short months ago.

“I’m not sure. Phoenix, of course, hired James Jones this offseason. He’s been inside that locker room. He saw Kyrie Irving in the playoffs this year—in between the first round when they beat Indiana and the second round when they played Toronto—go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice. On that stage. It’s one thing for people to go through your ups and downs during the regular season. But when you get to the playoffs, the main thing is the main thing, and we’re brothers, and we’re pulling together to get this thing done. Even at that level, there were things that made him sullen or reclusive from his teammates.”

During the most crucial time of the season, a third of the Cavs’ Big Three didn’t speak to teammates. Not just James, but the other 14 players on the roster as well. That’s says a lot without even saying a single word. Champ was known as one of the best teammates on the Cavs and if anyone would know about the situation outside of James and Irving, it would be Jones.

Another interesting aspect of this is that former Cavs general manager David Griffin and the team parting ways at the end of July. Although owner Dan Gilbert said it was mutual and it had nothing to do with money, many others thought it might have had something to do with Griffin wanting to trade away players that Gilbert didn’t, or the other way around. If Griffin knew about No. 2 not speaking to teammates, there’s quite a good chance that he would have traded Irving either at the end of the season or near NBA Draft time.

Many people are angry with Griffin’s departure and the entire situation, but it seems as though there’s a possibility that the two could be linked to one another. While on ESPN’s The Jump last week, Cleveland’s former general manager stated that he understands the trade request and that it took plenty of courage to do so.

As time goes on, more and more information will become available either through different sources or the players themselves that will reveal exactly what happened to cause the breakup between Irving and the Cavs that will eventually happen, but this is just another piece of the puzzle, a puzzle that will be quite interesting once it is completed.

Of course, the completion date might not be for awhile.

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  • MartyDaVille

    Irving’s petulance increases my respect for Kevin Love a thousand times. Love went from being the alpha dog in Minnesota to the third fiddle here, but he willingly accepted his subordinate role and played hard within the team concept without complaint. That’s because he wanted so badly to win a championship.

    The only thing Irving wants badly is to be the focal point so he can pamper his ego.

  • JM85

    Eh it’s football season. I’ll care about this again in October.

  • Steve

    The tell-all on Lebron to Miami was supposed to be big as well, and it never happened. Reporters favor access, which means no turning over the apple cart.

  • Saggy

    What is he…a 12-year old girl?? Geez. Get him out.

  • Saggy

    THANK YOU!!! I keep waiting for that book to come out.

  • dwhit110

    The first thing I thought of when reading this was that comeback game against Indiana when the bench + LeBron unit did all the heavy lifting and pulled it back from a sure loss at the half to an unbelievable win. I wonder how personally Kyrie took not being on the court for that.

    (Not saying the reaction is the correct one, I’m just tilting at windmills trying to figure out what went so wrong)

  • tsm

    You could never work at Google! 🙂

  • Garry_Owen

    This stuff makes my eyes bleed. Why do we even care if McKenzie never talked to Madison or Emma on the field trip?

  • mgbode

    You mean the blackmail to ensure a certain reporter was allowed to follow and continue covering?

    I mean, I don’t know what you are talking about…

  • mgbode

    You never got the crumpled up notes passed to you in class, did you?

  • woofersus

    “the main thing is the main thing.”

    Something Lebron has said before, and says he got it from Pat Riley. Interesting to hear it coming from another guy. Certainly speaks to an ingrained culture among those who bought in, and maybe could push out somebody who didn’t completely.

    Part of me just thinks Kyrie is a moody guy. I’ve noticed before that he used to play happy and that he was at his best when he was smiling and showboating just a little. He hasn’t responded that well to grown-up Lebron’s more serious nature, I think. He would have gotten along well with 25 year-old Lebron, but probably feels stifled a little, and like there’s always immense pressure because instead of growing up naturally it was winning time RIGHT NOW once Lebron came back. Probably resents the pressure a little. I wouldn’t be surprised if his desire to leave was less about being “the man” than it is getting out of the pressure cooker.

  • Dave

    I have to admit, I never understood the hate for Kevin Love from a lot of Cavs fans. The guy got traded onto the Cavs, and while he probably agreed to it ultimately wasn’t his decision. And all he’s ever done since is try to win games by dominating the glass with his bro TT, drilling 3-pointers more accurately than LeBron, throwing his coast-to-coast passes, and doing his best to defend. Oh, and he was the 3rd best Cav (after Korver and Kyrie) from the FT line last year. I mean, what more did they want him to do?

  • Saggy

    i knew someone would bring that up. But i thought about this comment before i posted. I don’t believe this has anything to do with sexism. 12-year old girls often act like this. 12-year old boys usually don’t. I taught in middle-school and high-school, and i would argue that makes me an expert on the situation.

    I know you were talking tongue-in-cheek, but I just wanted to make my point, too!

  • Saggy

    Or to Sophie or Jess.

  • mgbode

    Wait, boys and girls can behave different from each other (on average)? Oh, now you’ve done it…

  • paulbip

    You don’t think that money had anything to do with it.

  • MartyDaVille

    Money? No. He would make more staying here.

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