Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving does not care about LeBron James' feelings

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USATI

Kyrie Irving does not care about LeBron James' feelings

Kyrie Irving is adding fuel to the fire.

On Monday morning, the Celtics point guard was a guest on ESPN's First Take.

Stephen A. Smith: "Did you speak to LeBron James or talk to LeBron James before you and your representatives met with ownership and let them know that you wanted out?"

Kyrie: "No."

Smith: "Why not?"

Kyrie: "Why would I have to?"

Smith: "If you don't speak to somebody about it, they might take it personally."

Kyrie: "Yeah."

Smith: "Do you care about that at all?"

Kyrie: "No."

On July 7, Irving met with Cavs' management and requested a trade.

This news did not surface until July 21.

Why did Kyrie want out? One of the reasons -- he did not want to play with LeBron James anymore, according to multiple reports.

On Friday night, LeBron tweeted:

If you watch the video, you will see that Kyrie is prominently featured.

LeBron and Kyrie face off on Opening Night, Oct. 17...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

 

Draymond: 'That's what stood out to me' about Kyrie Irving trade

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AP

Draymond: 'That's what stood out to me' about Kyrie Irving trade

OAKLAND -- Though Draymond Green has spent the past three months enjoying the fruits of his labor, traveling the world, making friends and finding time for family, he still managed to keep an eye on this most intriguing NBA summer.

When the Warriors forward met with reporters Tuesday after the team’s news conference announcing a three-year jersey sponsorship with Rakuten, a Tokyo-based electric commerce and Internet company, one thing rang loud and clear.

Draymond has a new level of admiration for Kyrie Irving.

The former Cavaliers star expressed a desire to escape LeBron James’ massive shadow -- and the accompanying success -- and did what it took to maneuver his way into being traded to the Celtics, another Eastern Conference contender.

“You have to deliver with that,” Green said. “He’s basically saying, ‘OK, I’m ready to deliver.’

“He wasn’t a free agent. So he could have gotten traded anywhere. But he pretty much said, ‘I don’t care where I go. I’m going to make it happen.’ That says a lot about who he is, as a competitor. His character. That says a lot about him.”

It’s a gutsy move, to be sure, for Irving to want out after he and James led Cleveland to three straight NBA Finals appearances, all against the Warriors, with the Cavs winning one of the three trips.

“I wouldn't necessarily say it surprised me. I'd say more than anything, (it upped) the respect level I have for him,” Green said. “That's tough to do. I don't think people take into account that he put so much pressure on himself by doing that.

“But the willingness to do that, knowing the pressure that comes with that, and saying ‘I'm ready to do it. Let’s do it.' That's what stood out to me, more than anything.”

Irving’s departure doesn’t crush the Cavs, who have evolved into the greatest rival of the Warriors. James remains, and All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas was among the players going from Boston to Cleveland.

Irving’s decision to force his way out of a championship contender is not novel, but it puts a new spin on the Eastern Conference.

“It’s not the surprise of, ‘Hey, Kyrie wants to leave.’ That happens all the time; it happened with Shaq (O’Neal) and Kobe (Bryant), and it’s happened with a ton of other guys in the NBA over the course of the years,” Green said. “But for him to be willing to step out and say (I want to do my own thing) is big.”

Isaiah Thomas: 'You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs'

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USATI

Isaiah Thomas: 'You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs'

Isaiah Thomas believes the Cavs are going to be really good again.

He was very clear in his Players' Tribune post on Wednesday morning:

I’mma just say this here, point-blank, to get it over with — and then you can go ahead and post it on whatever bulletin boards you want to: You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs this year. This is going to be a great year to be a Cavs fan, a great year. And I’m excited.

From a basketball perspective, me on the Cavs is a match made in heaven. If you’ve watched any Celtics games last year, then you know how many times I would have to go through double and even triple teams, just to get my shot off. It ended up working fine for us — guys played great, and my shot was falling. But this year … man, it’s not even going to be a thing. You really going to throw three guys on me, when I’m sharing a court with the best basketball player on the planet? Nah, I don’t think so.

And that’s just LeBron. I look up and down this roster, and all I see is guys I can’t wait to play with: Kevin Love (reunited with my old AAU teammate!), Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert … it’s no accident to me that these guys have won the East three years running. And now add me to the mix, and D. Rose, and my guy Jae? This roster, man — it’s just stacked. Cavs fans, let’s get ready to rock and roll.

Interestingly enough, the biggest question mark for the Cavs is ... Isaiah Thomas.

It's unclear when he will be able to return to game action because of a hip injury that ended his 2016-17 season early.

The All-NBA Second-Team selection was unable to suit for Games 3 through 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

As Jason Lloyd of The Athletic wrote last week:

One source with experience dealing with the type of hip problems Thomas is facing predicted it could be January or even the All-Star break before Thomas returns to game action. 

The Cavs open their season against the Celtics on Oct. 17.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller