Brooklyn Nets playmaker Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James have quite a history, dating back to the time they helped the Cleveland Cavaliers win the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship.
The Cavaliers drafted Irving a year after James left Cleveland for the Miami Heat. Three years later, the now-four-time NBA champion returned to his stomping grounds, creating a lethal duo with the younger All-Star.
Even though Irving and James went to four NBA Finals together, winning one of them, they fell out before the former left the Cavaliers for the Boston Celtics. The two NBA stars have made up since then — and reportedly even wanted to team up again in L.A. this summer.
Irving said on UNINTERRUPTED’s “The Shop” that his time in Cleveland was emotionally challenging, particularly having to embrace the role of James’ successor:
I was watching the “30 for 30” on “The Decision.” A year later I was drafted into that Cleveland emotional train of the prodigal son, [the] Chosen One has left. Here we have this 19-year-old kid, I’m 6’2’’, I’m not jumping out of the gym. Emotionally, I was dealing with things that I had no idea… had nothing to do with me. Absolutely nothing. So when I took on that pressure, and as my own, I started feeling like I got to bring Cleveland back to the promised land. That was a solo act.
Irving also recalled the unbelievable expectations that James had to face after he reunited with the Cavaliers:
We can sit here for hours [if] I was going through the details, combing through it. But I think the greatest thing I would tell the youth is: superheroes need help. The leader of the team doesn’t always have to take on the burden and Bron took on crazy burden.
Commenting on Irving’s recollection of crossing paths with James, the Lakers All-Star showed some love for his former teammate, saying he’s been “truly so misunderstood”:
Kyrie Irving is one of the most fascinating/polarizing people alive. He’s still trying to figure this shit out, just like most of us are and it’s a dope story to watch. True rebel. You can see the growth. Dope episode #TheShop
— 73-9 and THEY LIED (@CuffsTheLegend) September 2, 2022
Irving and James could still re-join forces with the Nets guard believed to be targeting the Lakers if he ends up leaving Brooklyn in free agency next year.
James congratulates Serena Williams on ‘unbelievable career’
That same day, James congratulated Serena Williams on her illustrious career after the 40-year-old tennis star retired from the sport.
“You’re a goat. I mean, what you’ve done for the sport of tennis, what you’ve done for women, and what you’ve done for just the category of sport, period, is unprecedented,” James said about the 23-time Grand Slam singles winner.
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