Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin went on ESPN’s “The Jump” and gave his thoughts on Kyrie Irving.
The Cavaliers still haven’t traded Kyrie Irving, and his future is unclear. One thing is for sure, and it’s that Irving would prefer to play elsewhere so he can be the face of a franchise. David Griffin, who was fired by Dan Gilbert ahead of free agency, spoke highly of Kyrie and the situation with his former team:
“This is a guy who handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to. He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him he would be happier somewhere elsewhere.
“The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in, and sink the ship from within. Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did. That’s not youth and ignorance. That’s a little bit more courage than what people gave him credit for.”
Griffin makes a valid point, and I think a lot of people, myself included, overlooked this ever since the news broke. Kyrie is acting selfishly by wanting to be the guy somewhere else, but at least everyone knows it now.
What makes everything worse is that Griffin expected Irving to be the Cavaliers leader when he inked him to a five-year deal back in 2014. LeBron James then came back, and it threw a wrench in Cleveland’s plans. Obviously, it was a good wrench. A James-Irving duo has been incredible to watch over the last three seasons, and it brought a championship back to Northeast Ohio for the first time in more than 50 years.
Also Read: Kyrie Irving Wants To Prove He Doesn’t Need LeBron James
“This is a guy who recruited LeBron (James), (Gordon) Hayward, and a host of free agents when he decided to sign and stay in Cleveland,” said Griffin. “And all of a sudden, LeBron came back.
“So he was sold a totally different situation than he’s actually in, and he worked very well in, he won a championship in. I see this as him looking for a fit for himself now to take the next step of his career.”
Kyrie has never had the same chance as someone like John Wall and Damian Lillard, both of whom are guys that Irving is jealous of. They’re the undisputed leaders of their teams, and both are elite point guards. Irving just turned 25 and is coming off of the best season of his career. His best basketball is ahead of him.
“This is a guy who wants to know how good he can be,” Griffin continued. “LeBron casts a very large shadow over an organization and most of it is really, really positive. You know you’re expected to win a championship.”
Before James came back, Kyrie was the face of the Cavaliers, but nowhere near the player he is now. Furthermore, his only season at Duke was one mired in injury, so he missed out on being the guy there as well.
“But what it doesn’t always allow is for a player like Kyrie to test his boundaries and see how good he can really be, and, ‘Can I actually be the front man for a team like that?’
“He just wanted to put himself in a position, I think, where to find out exactly what he has as a 25-year-old entering his prime.”
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