Outside of his introductory press conference, we haven’t heard a lot from Kyrie Irving since he was traded to the Boston Celtics. Irving has been guarded throughout the off-season and hasn’t provided much real insight into what went into his decision.
On Monday, Irving went on to First Take to talk about his change of employment. While he once again was guarded, a couple clips stood out as a clear message he was trying to send.
When he was asked about whether or not he felt the need to inform LeBron James that he was going to request a trade, Irving was outright dismissive:
.@KyrieIrving on why he didn't inform LeBron James that he wanted out of Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/WF9GlCA54o— First Take (@FirstTake) September 18, 2017
Irving was then asked if he believed that he would be able to win a championship without LeBron. After initially being evasive, he gave the answer you would expect:
Can you win a championship without LeBron? @KyrieIrving: pic.twitter.com/kQmnwy09eU— First Take (@FirstTake) September 18, 2017
Irving coming onto a show like First Take really seems like a strange idea. He typically holds his cards close to his chest and likes to give long answers without really saying anything. He’s under no obligation to do a media tour, but clearly felt the need to come on and not say much.
Despite not saying much, the dismissive tone Irving had in the first clip is a little unsettling. He could have easily expressed that he didn’t feel the need to consult with LeBron and frame it in a way that it didn’t seem like he was hoping LeBron would take offense. However, it appears as though he wants it to be known that he didn’t care what LeBron thought or if he took offense to his trade request.
Statements like this really make it seem as though Irving is embracing a villain role to some degree. It’s very reminiscent of LeBron after The Decision and likely is making the transition to a post-Kyrie world easier for a lot of Cavs fans.