When you’re as woke as Kyrie Irving, conspiracies abound. In a great feature by Jackie MacMullen over at ESPN on Wednesday, the veteran reporter was able to get Irving to finally open up about why he ultimately requested a trade last summer, and it turns out the All-Star guard had become convinced that both LeBron James and the Cavs’ front office didn’t want him around anymore.
LeBron, who has been reluctant to speak about the whole ordeal, quickly responded by saying that the whole thing is patently absurd, although MacMullen’s piece does seem to imply that former GM David Griffin — perhaps sensing some restlessness on Irving’s part — did indeed explore a few trade scenarios involving the four-time All-Star prior to his bombshell announcement.
However, Griffin went on the SiriusXM NBA Show on Wednesday and essentially rebuffed both of those notions, especially the idea that LeBron had requested the organization try to find a way to move Irving out of Cleveland.
“LeBron, nor his people, never came to me and said we want X, Y, Z about any player, least of all Kyrie,” Griffin said. “Second, the organization absolutely wanted Kyrie there…If Kyrie did not want to be part of that, it was my job to make deals once we knew that to be the case.”
Griffin went on to make the argument that it was in the team’s best interest for him, as the GM, to be in a position to act fast once Irving had officially made his request. Yet as we all know now, Griffin was fired shortly thereafter, and the Kyrie trade saga dragged on for weeks before he was finally sent to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas.
As the biggest blockbuster deal of the decade so far, which has already carried all sorts of implications league-wide and will surely cause even more unforeseen ripple effects around the NBA for years to come, it’s unlikely we’ll stop analyzing all its different angles anytime soon.