LeBron James and Kyrie Irving helped the Cleveland Cavaliers reach great heights as a franchise but didn’t always see eye-to-eye while doing so. It looks like Irving has taken responsibility for his role in that disconnect.
This week, Kyrie revealed to reporters that he called LeBron after a recent game to apologize for his approach as a younger player. As a veteran leader on the Boston Celtics, Irving is in the position James found himself in in Cleveland.
The veteran point guard now understands how tough it can be getting a group to buy in.
Kyrie Irving on recent criticism of his younger teammates: “I should have kept it in house.”
Kyrie said he called LeBron after the Orlando game and apologized for being that young guy who didn’t quite understand what LeBron was going through as a veteran leader.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 17, 2019
The Athletic’s Joe Vardon revealed an even more interesting tidbit about Irving’s phone call to LeBron. When it happened, LeBron was out to dinner in Los Angeles…with Kevin Love.
Love, James and Irving were teammates in Cleveland, combining to win the 2016 NBA Finals, the first championship in Cavs’ franchise history.
LeBron James and Kevin Love were out to dinner. LeBron pulled out his phone to show him a missed call. It was Kyrie Irving. Scenes from an Italian LA restaurant where LeBron and Love were improbably together as Kyrie called to apologize @TheAthleticNBA https://t.co/KeaIeu16sD
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) January 17, 2019
Vardon’s full story is worth the read. He goes in-depth not only on the Kyrie-LeBron phone call, but on the nature of their relationship and some background on their time in Cleveland.
It seems like this situation is a prime example of the old adage that “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” At least Irving seemingly learned this lesson while he still has a chance to have a major impact as a player and a leader.