As Cleveland Cavaliers fans look forward to what they hope will be an incredibly positive and exciting 2022-23 NBA season, it appears that one former Cavs star is looking back.
Veteran guard Kyrie Irving recently sat down with NBA insider Shams Charania to talk about life, basketball and more. Interestingly, one of the things that Irving spoke on during the interview was how his time in Cleveland ended.
As Cavs fans know, Irving requested a trade in 2017 and was then moved to the Boston Celtics. According to Irving, he probably should have tried to exhaust other options before requesting a trade from the team that he won a championship with just a year before.
Part 2 of Kyrie Irving on @Stadium: "I’m going for every piece of hardware that I could possibly get out of the NBA." On the Nets post-KD trade request, his team bonding event, admitting "I don't think it was my time to ask for a trade" with Cavs, Uncle Drew, meaning of A11Even. pic.twitter.com/TI4IKfOBEs
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 19, 2022
“When I asked for a trade from Cleveland, the one thing I look back on is, did I exhaust as many opportunities to get closer to guys when I felt some type of difference?” Irving asked. “There was a lot of things that happened in the business that I didn’t understand. Asking for a trade, I don’t think it was my time to ask for a trade, and especially to go to Boston who was No. 2 in our conference — or No. 1 — was just right down the street.”
It’s fascinating to hear Irving speak so candidly about how his time in Cleveland ended, and it is even more interesting to hear him admit that he was wrong.
It is hard not to fantasize about what could have been had Irving remained in Cleveland longer. However, the truth is that Irving’s former teammate LeBron James may have left the Cavs in 2018 no matter where Irving was playing.
Still, it seems quite possible that the team would have gotten one more real crack at winning another NBA title. Though the Cavs did advance to the 2018 NBA Finals without Irving, they lost in a 4-0 sweep to the Golden State Warriors.
Now, Irving is trying to rebound from arguably the most drama-filled and disappointing season of his career. The Brooklyn Nets were seen as title contenders prior to last season, but they ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs.
As for the Cavs, they have one of the most exciting young rosters in the league. They could very well end up meeting Irving and the Nets in the playoffs many months from now.