The Cavaliers were sinking deeper into the abyss by the day. LeBron James and Dan Gilbert’s relationship was seemingly irreparable and the spirit of the Eastern Conference title contenders seemed loss. It was all but written that LeBron would fly the coupe after a season that has seen the Cavs fight injuries, drama and try their best to endure the loss of Kyrie Irving, who forced an offseason trade out of Cleveland in an attempt to get as far away from King James’ court as possible.
Kyrie’s departure was like a domino effect of disaster for Cleveland. If he was looking to prove a point and justify his worth by bouncing after an NBA Finals loss, he’s done the job. The Cavs haven’t been the same since Irving’s been gone. In fact, the Cavs have lost 13 of their last 19 games - a run of futility unheard of in the LeBron James Era.
Irving didn't have much to say to reporters.
Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards Feb February 8, 2018 2/8/2018. Full Game Highlights 2017-2018 NBA Regular Season Basketball Follow Me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/XimoPierto Like Me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/XimoPierto For more information, as well as all the latest NBA news and highlights, log onto the league's official website at http://www.NBA.com Subscribe to NBA LEAGUE PASS at http://www.nba.com/leaguepass DISCLAIMER - All clips property of the NBA.
Twitter Nation spoke for him.
The Best & Funniest Reactions To The 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers Trades! ➡️ https://t.co/BAtb4Pv13J
Their were analysts and media heads that called Irving “crazy” for leaving the greatest player in the world to build his own kingdom in Boston, where the Celtics would be ruled by a group of nobles rather than one king.
Some LeBron apologists and faithful followers suggested Cleveland wouldn’t miss a step with Isaiah Thomas, who proved he can light it up with the best of them during his MVP caliber campaign in Boston last year.
The general assumption was that when Thomas returned from major hip surgery, his presence alone would be enough to boost Cleveland back into contention. Unfortunately, by the time Isaiah did return, the drama was thick, the media was feasting on LeBron’s inability to right the ship and the Cavs were reeling internally. I.T. wasn’t a big enough band-aid to fix what was already spiraling out of control and his Cavs career lasted all of 15 games.
So as the Cavs have struggled to a 31-22 record this season, Kyrie has flourished in his time in Boston. He’s playing MVP-caliber ball, he’s part of a team that doesn’t have an obsession with one guy being the man every night and he’s looking quite Nostradamus-like right now.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, describes the additions of George Hill and Rodney Hood from Utah for Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose and Lakers baby ballers Jordan Crawford and Larry Nance Jr for the expiring contracts of I.T. and Channing Frye, as a huge win for Cleveland.
“The Cavs traded nearly half their roster, got much younger and gave themselves a better chance to get to and compete in the Finals,” Vardon said.
This team had no chance of winning or even getting to the finals 24 hours ago. Now they, to me, have become the favorites." Chuck on the new-look Cavs. 👀 https://t.co/YdEce4jy8U
Maybe, but the abundance of trades shows the chaos and lack of trust in Cleveland. Cavs brass is scrambling to make sure this isn’t a lost season. Keeping LeBron in free agency is also a huge priority so pleasing him is still the focus for the Cavs. It’s just really messy right now.
I think LeBron is leaving Cleveland... San Antonio, I've always said, would be the best place because of Gregg Popovich." - @Chris_Broussard https://t.co/Q4VGysai0P
At the same time, Irving is elated not to be a part of that culture of uncertainty. Content with not catering to the whims of LeBron James anymore. We see that Irving wasn’t just reacting childishly and selfishly when he bounced. His move to Boston is proving to be genius in light of the happenings in Cleveland. Kyrie is in a stable, happy place where he smiles a lot and the focus is team and culture building. Far away from the circus that has infected King James’ Cleveland court.
Who can say anything to Irving now? Other players have basically come out and exposed James for not being as much of a leader as he’s been given credit for.
I.T. expressed his displeasure with the team and indirectly criticized James’ leadership as the team struggled.
“When we hit adversity, we go our separate ways," he told reporters.
Bron let Kyrie bounce instead of neutering a solid relationship with the guy who saved his bacon and Cleveland legacy on several occasions. He allowed his relationship with Dan Gilbert to deteriorate again and none of the guys who ball with him seem content or inspired to go get it.
LeBron is at a low point in his career, while Irving is just getting started as far as fulfilling his personal goals and dreams. Regardless of how the season turns out, Irving is looking like a genius right now as Cleveland scrambles to assemble a team that is championship worthy to recover from their first half doldrums.
@KyrieIrving led the @celtics to a big OT win in Washington! 📊: 28 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB https://t.co/c6RJVYtUF1
They are yet to meet on the court in a meaningful playoff game, but right now Kyrie Irving is looking like the undisputed winner in his silent war with LeBron James and a living example of the phrase, “sometimes you just have to go with your gut.”