Report: LeBron James was ‘blown away’ by Kyrie Irving’s immaturity on Cavs

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Ken Blaze / USA TODAY Sports

With rumors circulating about Kyrie Irving possibly heading to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, a new report notes that LeBron James was amazed at Kyrie Irving’s immaturity during their time together with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Alex Schiffer, Sam Amick, and Joe Vardon of The Athletic looked at Irving’s current situation with the Brooklyn Nets and possible move to the Lakers, pointing out the guard’s past relationship with James.

“As for LeBron and the Lakers, where this whole conversation began, Irving privately and publicly apologized to James for being such a pain in the rear towards him when they were in Cleveland together,” wrote Vardon. “There were all kinds of resentment from Kyrie and his camp toward LeBron, and James was blown away by Irving’s immaturity. But James has always respected Kyrie’s game and he knows how good of a pairing they are together. LeBron knows he needs playmakers and shooters around him — Russ (Russell Westbrook) is kind of neither now; certainly isn’t the latter — and I, to this day, do not get why LeBron thought Westbrook would be a good pairing for him.”

James first left the Cavaliers in 2010 to play for the Miami Heat, with Irving being drafted by the team the following year. In 2014, James returned to play for the Cavs and spent the next three seasons as a teammate of Irving.

A slow start during the 2014-15 season resulted in James offering some openly critical remarks toward Irving. However, the Cavaliers bounced back to reach the 2015 NBA Finals.

Irving missed the final five games of that Finals because of a knee injury. He returned the following season to team with James for a historic comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals to capture the Cavaliers’ first NBA title.

Both James and Irving were central to the championship, with Irving hitting the game-winning shot in Game 7 and James winning Finals MVP honors.

Though the Cavaliers reached the Finals again in 2017, they came up short. That disappointment was a precursor to the shocking trade demand made by Irving after the season.

Irving was subsequently dealt to the Boston Celtics and left them in free agency in 2019 to join the Nets. Meanwhile, James left the Cavs to join the Lakers in 2018.

The Lakers acquired Westbrook last year thinking he was the missing piece to a championship. The team wound up missing the playoffs entirely last season.

James knows what Irving is capable of when he’s fully engaged on the court and badly wants to add to his collection of four NBA titles. He appears ready to deal with any conflicts he might end up having with Irving in order to capture another championship.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.