- Report: Cavs Teammates Were Rolling Their Eyes at Cedi Osman Early in the Season
- Isaiah Thomas Says Celtics Would Have Won Title If He Had Never Been Traded to Cavs
- Collin Sexton Credits Cavs Teammates After Reaching 6th Straight 23-Point Game
- Channing Frye Explains Why Detroit Pistons Are Going to Be Dangerous in Playoffs
- Dan Gilbert, Larry Drew, and Channing Frye Offer Huge Praise for Collin Sexton
- Report: Kevin Love Questionable vs. Detroit Pistons With New Injury
- Cedi Osman Sends Message to Team USA Amid FIBA World Cup Match
- Kyrie Irving Says LeBron James Was ‘Thirsty for Rebounds’ With Cavs
- Collin Sexton Breaks Cavs Rookie Record Set by LeBron James
- J.R. Smith Says He’s Beaten Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, Other All-Stars 1-on-1
Kyrie Irving Speaks on Why It’ll Be Difficult for LeBron James and Lakers to Attract 2nd Star
- Updated: January 10, 2019
Critics around the NBA have begun to talk about the Los Angeles Lakers’ inability to attract a second star to play with LeBron James, and former teammate and Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kyrie Irving has offered some insight into why.
“t’s definitely a challenge,” Irving told ESPN when asked about playing with James. “You now become part of a championship-caliber team based on a unique talent. LeBron is so smart, so talented, such a strong leader. And you’re trying to implement who you are, and grow as a player and learn every single day. And it can be difficult because it demands a lot of you.
“Certain times young players — and even older ones — find it a big transition, because you’re playing a certain way, and growing as a player, and you have a vision of what your career will look like. And then this player of such great stature arrives, and you’re still trying to be great, and he’s already great. And you find yourself asking, ‘OK, what are the steps to get there?’ So now do you learn by example from watching him? Do you learn by the way he treats his body? By the way he treats his business off the court? By his philanthropic path? So you just watch and you observe.”
Irving and James enjoyed great success playing alongside one another. They advanced to three straight NBA Finals, and of course brought the 2016 NBA championship to Cleveland.
Nonetheless, it seems quite clear that Irving regularly felt the negative aspects of playing with a player who was not only the face of his team, but the face of the entire league.
“You also have to be aware of the expectations from the outside and how that can infiltrate your thinking,” Irving said. “Somehow it ends up where everybody wants to play the blame game when things don’t go right. So it’s just a lot to get used to. It comes with a lot of pressures. I believe the very, very special ones, the unique ones, gladly take on that challenge, and they relish it. You can’t be afraid to challenge another great person. That’s how greatness is achieved.
“It was a lot for me to figure out. The belief I have in myself goes way beyond anything that could deter me from what I want to accomplish. You can never ever, ever, ever, ever lose your sense of self while you are playing alongside a great player.”
Now, Irving is the face of his own team with the Boston Celtics. Considering their loaded roster, it would not be much of a shock to see him and the Celtics advance to the NBA Finals this season. If James wants to meet him there, the Lakers will most likely have to convince a star that they will be able to overcome the many challenges of playing with the three-time NBA champ.