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Former Cavs Player Rips Kyrie Irving for Trade Request
- Updated: August 7, 2017
Kyrie Irving has received both criticism and support for his surprise trade demand several weeks ago. While his current teammates and the Cleveland Cavaliers have remained mum on the issue, former Cavs guard Ron Harper held nothing back when he spoke on the topic over the weekend.
Harper, who serves as an ambassador for the NBA, was interviewed by the Akron Beacon Journal at the Bridgestone Golf Tournament on Sunday to discuss Irving’s trade request.
“When I used to play on bad teams and you trained all off-season to play 82 games, you get to the first round and you lose. You’re guaranteed to play till June. The East is good, but you know that you’re the best basketball team,” Harper said. “I don’t really understand what’s behind it.”
Harper, a 15-year pro who won five NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, blamed Irving’s decision on his youth.
“Young. Youth. Kids … listen, the inmates are in charge,” he said. “So when the inmates are in charge, nothing but bad things can happen, right?”
Harper also reacted to the reports of Irving looking to become the face of a franchise and no longer wanting to play in LeBron James‘ shadow.
“It’s always going to be a two- or three-star team,” Harper explained. “You’re never going to be a guy who carries your team. You see when LeBron doesn’t play, you don’t carry the team.”
He even had some thoughts on what kind of team the Cavs should be looking to ship Irving off to.
“It’s not a guarantee that the Cavaliers are going to trade him to a good team,” Harper said. “I asked a guy, ‘What happened to the old-school days?’ When a guy asked to get traded, you traded him to the sorriest team. That’s the way it worked.”
Who knows if Harper’s sentiments reflect what current members of the Cavaliers feel about their All-Star teammate, but it’s clear that Irving has lost quite a lot of favor around the league.