The trade between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers was undoubtedly the biggest move in the NBA this offseason. However, what made the deal even more intriguing were the reasons that spurred point guard Kyrie Irving‘s departure from Cleveland.

After three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, it seems Irving was ready to take on the role as top dog with a team of his own. However, there has been speculation as to whether the four-time All-Star is capable of winning a championship without forward LeBron James.

Among the doubters is Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, who said Irving was better off playing second fiddle to James during an appearance on ESPN First Take:

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“Why leave? You misconstrue what the King (LeBron James) brings to the game. The King is so good that you’ve been to the Finals back to back to back and you start thinking that this is normalcy,” Sanders said. “Have you lost your mind? This ain’t normal. The only thing normal about this is the King, alright? I have never seen a dog leave to go elsewhere. (John) Stockton didn’t leave Karl Malone, Magic (Johnson) didn’t leave Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar). The reason…he has to understand, you’re Robin, not Batman.”

While it may seem a bit strange to hear such harsh criticisms from a football analyst, Sanders is not alone in his sentiment. Prior to James' arrival, Irving was unable to bring the Cavaliers anywhere near playoff contention.

However, the one-time champ has plenty of experience heading into the 2017-18 NBA season, which he would need when he and James presumably face off in next year's conference finals.