It’s been several weeks since we’ve learned of Kyrie Irving’s request to be traded away from the Cleveland Cavaliers. We’ve seen plenty of hot takes from fans, and members of the media alike. But there’s one thing that’s become clear to me with all this conversation: Kyrie Irving is exposing the hypocrisy in today’s NBA.
Last summer, when Kevin Durant decided to join the Golden State Warriors, he was blasted from everyone covering the game for “taking the easy way out” to a championship. He got his championship, was the best player in the finals, and will still be looked at as inferior because of his off-season decision.
Flip that to now. Kyrie Irving is doing the complete opposite. He’s been the #2 to LeBron for the last 3 years. He’s widely seen as a top five point guard in the league, and one of the best scorers in the game. He wants to see how he would fare being the #1 option and trying to lead his own team to a championship and he’s still being condemned? That makes absolutely no sense.
Shouldn’t that kind of mentality and that kind of decision be applauded more in today’s NBA? The same NBA where ring chasers are mocked, and players are looked at as inferior to past generations by wanting to play with other great players?
Charles Barkley recently said Kyrie Irving was “stupid” for wanting to be the man and try to led his own team.
“I don’t understand the Kyrie situation. This generation of players — you want to be on a good team. You want to play with other great players. This notion where you want to be the man, I just think is so stupid. If I got a chance to play with another great player, I want to do that. The objective is to win.”
Let’s compare that to what he said when Kevin Durant decided to leave Oklahoma City for the Warriors.
“Kevin is a terrific player, he’s a good kid. But just disappointed with the fact that he weakened another team and he’s gonna kind of gravy train on a terrific Warriors team. Just disappointed from a competitive standpoint.”
And Barkley isn’t the only former player or analyst to have these opinions. Which only goes to prove my point. You can’t have it both ways by saying Kevin Durant was “weak” or “soft” or “took the easy road” by joining the Warriors, and then go around and trash Kyrie Irving for wanting to step out of LeBron’s shadow.
If he is indeed traded this summer, Kyrie may not win as many games as LeBron, and he very likely won’t win a championship. But I can respect the fact that he wants to give it a shot. I can respect that even if it doesn’t work out perfectly, he’s wants to see how good he can truly be.
Keep doing you Kyrie. Keep balling out, and keep exposing the hypocrisy of these analysts, fans, and former players. I’m excited to see how it plays out.