Apparently, Irving thinks he can follow in the footsteps of the “Black Mamba,” who won a pair of titles after playing Robin to Shaquille O’Neal’s Batman during the Lakers’ three-peat in the early 2000s. Late Friday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Irving, who earned a ring in 2016 as four-time MVP LeBron James’ trusted sidekick, told Cavaliers’ brass he wants to be traded. ESPN’s Chris Haynes followed up with four preferred destinations.
Chief among Irving’s reasons for wanting out: the desire to be the focal point of a team’s offense. He also reportedly doesn’t want to play with James anymore. James, who’s been in North Carolina along with the rest of his family as his sons participate in a national youth basketball tournament, was, as Windhorst put it, “blindsided” by the news.
Granted, there could be much more to this than meets the eye. After all, Dan Gilbert still owns the Cavaliers. Signing Jeff Green and Jose Calderon and re-signing Kyle Korver have been the only moves Cleveland has made this summer. Meanwhile, the Celtics, the Cavaliers’ biggest competition in the Eastern Conference, added All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward (21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game) to a team that won 53 games last year.
Of course, that raises the inevitable question: Is a championship the only measure of success in sports? No, of course not. Good seasons are good journeys, and it’s fine for fans to wish for sufficient entertainment on the court.
But the Larry O’Brien Trophy is still the symbol of the ultimate prize in the NBA, the alleged goal of every team at the start of every season, available to everyone in theory, but attainable for few in reality. That makes moral victories, in one form or another, the necessary consolation prize for every non-championship team. This is just the reality of the NBA, and most fans are willing to tolerate it The Best Cheap Jerseys in exchange Real Cheap Jerseys for six months of entertainment.