clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

LeBron James opens up on Kyrie Irving trade saga

New, comments

LeBron played it safe with his comments on Kyrie Irving.

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving requested a trade to leave the Cavaliers and playing with LeBron James was reportedly one of the major instigators in the eventual deal that sent Kyrie to the Boston Celtics.

At media day, James talked about the way he felt after Irving’s trade request filtered through to him.

"I was wondering whether it was something I could have done better to make him not want to be traded," James said. "Is it the way that the season finished? Or was it me coming back in the first place? Was it the coaching changes or the GM change, or ... I don't know, I had so many different emotions go through my head."

James said he had a brief dialogue with Irving once he found out about the request, but hadn’t talked since.

James lamented he’d planned to hand the keys over to Irving as his career declined, but also went on to wish him good health moving forward, making it clear there was no ill will.

"I tried to do whatever I could do to help the kid out, be the best player he could be -- try to help him be a better leader, a better scorer, a better floor general, a better defender, a better passer, getting guys involved, a better leader vocally," James said. "I tried to give him everything and give him as much of the DNA as I could. Because, like I told you guys throughout the season, at some point, when he was ready to take over the keys, I was ready to give them to him.

"The only thing I'm upset about is that he took a lot of the DNA and blueprints now to Boston. That's the only thing I'm upset about, really. Other than that, I mean, I wish the kid great health. The kid wanted to do what was best for his career and I give credit to our GM Koby [Altman] and to the ownership for granting that for him."

James was asked if he had any advice for Kyrie, and he stopped short of being willing to do that.

The Cavaliers open their season on October 17th at home against the Celtics. We’ll see just how much ill will there is at that point.