Kyrie Irving is now the most popular man in the NBA and, unfortunately, all because of wrong reasons after his remarks about the media members being pawns. Irving is a remarkable basketball player with a skill set that is almost unparallel, but his behavior has become an issue, and according to former NBA player Kendrick Perkins. He shared a locker room with both him and LeBron James while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was back then when Perkings saw Irving’s unusual behavior and jealousy towards LeBron.
Before LeBron returned to Cleveland, Irving was the main guy there and the biggest star, so his transition to becoming a sidekick didn’t sit well with Irving. He saw LeBron receiving special privileges, which is a normal thing for any player that is the main guy on a specific team. Perkings remembers specific moments when Kyrie wanted to impose his dominance over LeBron and, in some way, mimic what he was doing, but it immediately felt very wrong.
It almost felt like a sense of jealousy was there on Kyrie’s part. Kyrie was their guy before Bron got there. Cleveland was in the lottery every damn year, and Kyrie was the head of the snake and a number one option. When LeBron came back all of a sudden, you are a contender. LeBron also gets special privileges. The Robin will never get the same privileges as a Batman; it’s not going to happen. LeBron would have his own fitness/medical guy come in the locker room, and Kyrie wasn’t really feeling it. So all of a sudden, you would see Kyrie come in with his own medical and strength and conditioning guy.”Kendrick Perkins, via The Ringer
Instead of following LeBron and learning from him how to be a leader, Irving wanted to do assert himself immediately even though he didn’t have the necessary experience. According to Perkins, LeBron appreciated Kyrie and tried to take him under his wing by providing guidance and mentorship, which Kyrie refused on several occasions. The jealousy was evident, and other team members saw firsthand how Kyrie wanted to get the same type of treatment as LeBron was getting.
He was trying to match up and be LeBron so bad instead of just following his lead. LeBron was just trying to show Kyrie the ropes and take him under his wing. There were so many times, LeBron referred to Kyrie just to take over and was cool with it. Not because he wasn’t clutch but because he knew what he had in Kyrie, like go ahead, young fella, do your thing. From what I saw, Kyrie probably just got tired of Bron getting special privileges, but he is an iconic figure, so what do you expect.Kendrick Perkins, via The Ringer
Even though their relationship was rocky, Irving and LeBron’s dynamic duo won a championship together back in 2016. They had multiple trips to the NBA finals, after which that team was dismantled with every player going their separate ways. In the meantime, LeBron cemented his legacy even further by winning a championship with the Lakers. At the same time, Irving had two unsuccessful seasons with the Boston Celtics, after which he signed with the Brooklyn Nets, who are now paying for his fines because he didn’t want to talk with the media. It was evident these two never really liked each other because of the difference in their characters. Still, Kyrie should have been more patient and learn from LeBron a thing or two, especially when it comes to keeping a clean and positive image in the media.