The sudden news of Kyrie Irving requesting a trade out of Cleveland tonight has left most of the NBA world in shock, and that even includes Kyrie's All-Star teammate LeBron James, who was 'devastated' upon hearing the news, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
Windhorst, who appeared on Pardon the Interruption Friday afternoon, also stated that James was “blindsided and disappointed” about Irving's decision.
Here's what Windhorst had to say regarding LeBron.
"You know, I’m keeping the language just down the middle in that story, Pablo. LeBron was devastated, from what I understand. Certainly, they had their run ins at times, but he felt an affection and an attachment to Kyrie. Yes, he is only signed for one more year, but he hasn’t made up his mind and Kyrie is signed for two more years. Kyrie was positioned to have his own choice in two years. Really, LeBron thought they were going to come back together and try to beat the Warriors next year. That’s what he’s focused on, that’s what he’s planning on doing."
Before any of this news even broke, LeBron had been rumored to leave Cleveland in the summer of 2018, but Windhorst stated that LeBron's move was by no means 100% confirmed. After Kyrie's sudden trade request, however, things could have easily changed.
Don't get things mixed up though, LeBron cannot carry the blame for Irving's decision. Irving reportedly wants to be a focal point for a team, and although he did take more shots and owns a higher usage percentage than LeBron in 2016-17, he was never going to be the number one option on a team with James. When you consider the fact that LeBron may very well be the second-greatest player of all-time, no one could overtake him given Kyrie's situation.
If things go to plan (when do they ever), the Cavs will be looking to move Kyrie on as quickly as possible if they are not able to sway his opinion on playing behind LeBron for at least one more year.