If you listen to just about anyone capable of formulating hot takes, the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of a gigantic tailspin and might as well just end their season now. When the team isn’t losing to a shorthanded Grizzlies squad, its players are sending out cryptic tweets that may or may not be directed at one another.
Now, the latest issue is that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have an on-court chemistry issue with one another. Well, kinda, as this newest info (is it really new, if even a casual Cavs fan could’ve told us this?) comes courtesy of a scout who recently watched the Cavs play and spoke to The Vertical about what he saw as a disconnect between the two superstar teammates.
Irving remains a dynamic scorer, but the disconnect between Irving and James is real, several scouts and coaches told The Vertical, with the on-court chemistry between the two, said one scout who saw Cleveland play recently, “basically nonexistent.”
Naturally, the Cavaliers deny this completely, saying that James is constantly trying to teach Irving and that their relationship is solid. The team also says that no one understands how important Irving is more than James.
So, where is the truth in this? In all seriousness, probably closer to what the Cavaliers say than the anonymous scout who merely informed us what we all knew. Things aren’t as bad as you’d expect if you listen to what talking heads have to say. Cleveland is 6-4 over its last 10 games, which is less of a “slump” and more of “a decent stretch for a team that is supposed to win every game.” Besides, the Cavs are going to be the top seed in the Eastern Conference barring a gigantic collapse, so this is more of a minor bump in the road than the end of the world.
Still, those ultra-high standards explain some of the turmoil in Cleveland lately, including the weird social media activity and the anonymous scout’s musings. And sure, it’s somewhat reasonable to think that James and Irving don’t always mesh well because they’re ball-dominant players, but this is so out of the blue that it’s a bit hard to believe.
Is it possible that the relationship between James and Irving has soured a little and it has impacted their on-court chemistry? Sure, but considering this is a report from anonymous scouts and coaches, and it dropped after the Cavaliers lost a game against a truncated Grizzlies team, let’s not put too much stock into it right now. However, if things really start going south quickly, maybe this is something worth revisiting.