LeBron James admits he was ‘hurt’ by Kyrie Irving’s comments on Kevin Durant’s podcast
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Can beef be reheated?
In October, Kyrie Irving made waves by seemingly throwing some shade at LeBron James on Kevin Durant’s podcast, saying that playing alongside Durant is the first time in his career that he’s felt that a teammate can knock down a game-winning shot. Irving’s quote on the show:
“One thing I’ve always been comfortable with is I felt like I was the best option on every team I played for down the stretch,” Irving said. “This is the first time in my career where I could look down and be like, ‘That mother f—er can make that shot too, and he’d probably do it a lot easier.’ You know what I mean? I feel like … OK, well, it’s not really so much deferring. Because, in past situations, if I didn’t take the last shot, I felt guilty.”
This, of course, kind of flies in the face of former Irving teammate LeBron James, alongside whom Irving played with the Cavaliers between 2014 and 2017. James, of course, is known as one of, if not the greatest, basketball stars of all time. They, of course, also won a championship.
LeBron broke his silence on Monday, revealing that he had indeed heard Irving’s words and wanted to make sure of the context surrounding the quotes before admitting he felt a bit upset from them:
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) December 8, 2020
“I was a little like, ‘Damn.’ Once I got the whole transcript, I was like, ‘Damn,'” James said. “I wasn’t like, ‘Aw, you trippin’, I’ve hit game-winning shots my whole life. I was not like that. I was like, ‘Damn.’
“You (Richard Jefferson) were there for a couple seasons, I played with him for three seasons. The whole time while I was there, I only wanted to see him be the MVP of our league. I only cared about his success. And it just didn’t align, it just didn’t align. We were able to win a championship — that’s the craziest thing. We were still able to win a championship and we could never align. But I only cared about his well-being both on and off the floor and it kind of hurt me a little bit.”
In the 2016 NBA Finals, James scored 208 points to Irving’s 190, and both teammates exploded for 40 points each in Game 5, the first time that had been done in NBA Finals history. Irving was traded to Boston after the 2017 season, fueling rumors that the relationship between he and James had soured.
Irving recently said he doesn’t want his words misconstrued by the media this upcoming season.
With the Lakers still a favorite to at least visit the NBA Finals, a potential showdown with the Nets — who are expecting Kevin Durant at full capacity this season — would be the very definition of “THIS LEAGUE.” Hopefully it’ll come to be(ef).