Despite Kyrie Irving and LeBron James teaming up to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an improbable 2016 NBA Finals win after falling into a 3-1 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors, their time together came to an unceremonious ending.
The following summer, after another loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, Irving informed the Cavs of his desire to be traded. Indications were his relationship with James had soured, and the young point guard sought to be the leader of his own team.
Now in his second season of that experience, all appears to be well between Irving and James. Irving recently called his former teammate to apologize for his behavior during their time on the Cavs and seek guidance and advice on leadership.
“I’ve always loved Kyrie, from before I met him to when I became his teammate to even now. I’ve always thought he was special,” James said during 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend Charlotte media availability.
“There’s a reason why there are only 24 of us here this weekend. He’s here for a reason. The phone call — more than for me, I think just to see his growth.
“It takes a real man and a real person to understand who they are to be able to call or to do anything and be able to see their wrongdoings or believe they have some wrongdoings and then be able to come to grips with that and be able to either apologize or say that, ‘At that point in time, I thought I was ready for something, but I really wasn’t.'”
James declined to go into detail about the conversation he had with Irving, but reiterated, “I love Kyrie. I love everything about Kyrie. I’ve loved his family. I definitely love his shoes and his game, and my kids love his shoes and his game too. So it’s all good.”
When previously discussing their phone call, James said the relationship between the two was in a ‘good place.’
Not only does it appear fences have been mended, but Irving reportedly has interest in potentially teaming up with James on the Los Angeles Lakers. The possibility of that becoming a reality will be known this summer, when Irving reaches free agency.
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