Kyrie Irving does not care that he didn’t tell LeBron James that he wanted out of Cleveland before talking to the Cavaliers front office about a potential trade, he told ESP’s First Take on Monday morning.
Irving, who was traded to the Boston Celtics last month, reportedly blindsided James when he got wind about the possible trade. Irving wanted to be on a team and situation where he was more of a focal point and he didn’t think he wanted to play alongside James anymore.
Here’s a transcription of the exchange on First Take:
Stephen A. Smith: Did you speak to LeBron James or talk to LeBron James before you or your representatives met with ownership to let them know that you wanted out?
Smith: Why not?
Irving: Why would I have to?
Smith: If you don’t speak to somebody about it then they might take it personally.
Smith: Do you care about that at all?
… I think we’re forgetting one important thing. Stephen A, Molly and Max, as you guys are professionals, I don’t think that you owe it to another person in terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life. It’s not anything personal. I’m not here to tirade anybody. I’m not here to go at any particular person or organization because I have nothing but love for Cleveland. I have nothing but love for the times that I’ve spent there. There’s nothing about that. It’s just there comes a time when you mature as an individual. It’s time to make that decision. There’s no looking back from that standpoint. There is no time to figure out how to save someone’s feelings when ultimately you have to be selfish in figuring out what you want to do. It wasn’t about me not wanting to win. It wasn’t about that. I want to be extremely, extremely happy and perfecting my craft. That was the only intent that I have in all of this. I think it got much more attention because everything else started coming out from who would think their important opinion mattered most. I saw previous players, past players and current players speaking on something that had nothing to do with them. I’m appreciative of their comments but ultimately, it’s my decision.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 18, 2017