Irving joined First Take on Monday for a tense back and forth with Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith. The Boston Celtics guard didn’t say much about his decision to request a trade and leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he sure got a lot of questions about it.
Among the questions, Irving was asked if he told LeBron James that he wanted out before he informed the Cavs that he officially wanted a trade.
“Did you speak or did you talk to LeBron James before you and your representatives met with ownership and let them know that you wanted out?” Smith asked.
Irving shook his head, perhaps a bit defiantly.
“No,” Irving said.
“Why not?” Smith asked.
“Why would I have to?” Iriving asked.
It’s important to note that Irving and Smith have a bit of history here, history that directly involves the trade request and the drama surrounding it. Smith reported that Irving and LeBron were at odds over the request, and suggested that LeBron James wanted to fight Irving. That prompted a vague tweet from LeBron that set Smith off on his radio program for a long rant where he defended his reporting and sources.
It’s safe to say that Smith is invested in getting the story right here, and having Irving on the program was a big get for them. But that doesn’t mean he had to be very forthcoming in the interview. In fact, he didn’t say much at all.
It’s been two summers, though, and Durant is still making up burner social media accounts to defend himself. So Irving should probably get used to these kind of questions.