When LeBron James elected to go back to Cleveland in 2014, it was a decision that rocked the NBA. With his return home, the dominoes started to fall, as the media frenzy and hype escalated into something just short of madness.
The hometown kid from Akron Ohio, who happens to be one of the greatest ballers ever, returns to where it all started to bring a Championship to his city for the first time in decades. That story is what most fans live for, and it’s the kind of thing media outlets wait for. It’s a story everybody loved… well, almost everybody.
See, besides Miami Heat fans, the only other person that hated the move more was Kyrie Irving. There's no doubt Irving is thankful for all LeBron brought to the city, and even to Irving’s own career.
But for Uncle Drew, being the man is something he valued above all else. The rings, the glamour, the media coverage, it was all nice. Kyrie, though, would rather play the hero than the sidekick. And he ultimately chose that over an almost promised Finals runs for years to come.
Now in Boston, Kyrie seemingly has what he wanted. He gets to be the man of a revamped Celtics team, in the high market sports city of Boston. He should be happy, right?
But reality is showing him, and the world, that Kyrie Irving may have made the biggest mistake of his career.
In Cleveland, he got to take the shots he wanted. In fact, it was easier for him to shine, as The King made sure to get him open looks. With the Cavaliers, Kyrie was free of pressure, free of blame, yet still got to enjoy the hype given to him when he made a nice-looking move. Things were easy, things were simple. Uncle Drew lived in a world where he could enjoy basketball in its purest form.
Compare that to just the first three games of the Celtics’ season, and it is easy to see why the grass hasn’t looked greener.
True, the season has just started, but Irving’s offense has already taken a noticeable dip. Scoring 20 points on 37.3% shooting through three games so far, those numbers pale in comparison to the 25 points (on 47% shooting) he was scoring last year.
Not to mention the Celtics team, which has looked pretty underwhelming for the early part of the season. At 1-2, the C’s lost to the Cavs on opening night, lost to the Bucks the night after, and barely won a game against the 76ers, which took a huge scoring boost in the fourth by the Celtics to finally put the game to bed. Worse still, their second-best player (Gordon Hayward) is probably going to miss most of the year after suffering a gruesome leg injury just six minutes into the new season.
In “The Land,” playing for LeBron James, everything was perfect, everything was right. In Boston, however, nothing is going quite according to plan. Things are already erupting into chaos. And now that he’s in the middle of it all, he might realize just how good he had it.
He might realize that there are just some things in life you don’t give up on. He might realize there are just some people you don’t leave.
Of course, there’s still plenty of time for Kyrie and the Celtics to make something special happen for the city of Boston. There’s still time to prove that Kyrie’s arrival there was the best thing that could have happened.For now, though, it’s obvious that Kyrie is worse off now than he was a year ago. Things are harder, things are messier. Playing in luxury for a few years can blind you to the truth about yourself.
For now, though, it’s obvious that Kyrie is worse off now than he was a year ago. Things are harder, things are messier. Playing in luxury for a few years can blind you to the truth about yourself.
And, truth is, Kyrie Irving will never have it as good as he did. He’ll never experience those riches again. Leaving paradise usually ends the same way, and Kyrie may have just found that out for himself.