Star point guard Kyrie Irving’s career began with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was during that time that he rose to stardom and helped lead the Cavs to an NBA title.
However, everything was not sunshine and rainbows beneath the surface in Cleveland, and Irving eventually demanded a trade from the team. Leading up to that dramatic moment, Irving reportedly felt that he wasn’t given the treatment he deserved from the team. Namely, he felt like he was stuck in former Cavs star LeBron James’ shadow.
According to a recent report, Irving was also unhappy with the way that his associates were not given the same treatment that James’ entourage received.
“When LeBron returned to Cleveland, the Cavs hired his trainer, his security and his personal assistant,” Joe Vardon of The Athletic wrote. “Irving couldn’t get the same treatment for his associates, and it bothered him. But not just him.”
Irving was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He was seen as a potential star that could help the Cavs regain success after James left for Miami in 2010. However, his first three seasons were filled with losing. It wasn’t until James decided to rejoin the Cavs in 2014 that Irving began to enjoy team success.
Moreover, by the time James returned, he was the unquestioned face of the NBA. He was bigger than the Cavs and certainly bigger than Irving. While Irving’s opinion on the Cavs hiring James’ entourage may seem petty, it isn’t hard to understand why seeing a costar on the team get such preferential treatment would be bothersome for Irving.
Despite the internal strain, James and Irving managed to win the 2016 title together with the Cavs. Many consider it to be the most thrilling NBA Finals series in recent history, as the Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors.