In the last few days, there have been many connections made between Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant, who is one of his mentors.

This has led many to believe that Bryant has had an influence on Irving to finally inform the Cleveland Cavaliers about wanting to be traded. In light of that, Bryant has issued a response to all those putting part of the blame on him for the three-time All-Star's desire to be moved.

Since retiring last year, Bryant has taken a major step back away from the game by going off to do his own post-career ventures. He has helped go through offseason workouts with several current NBA players but hasn't done more than that.

Bryant has had a huge influence on many of today's superstar players, but the fact that Irving looks up to him as one of his idols has put the 16-time All-Star in the situation. The first connection that many draw is that the 25-year-old has likely adopted the alpha dog mentality looking to lead the team as the primary offensive option.

It is possible that Irving has spoken to Bryant during this entire process, but to put some of the blame on him doesn't appear to be warranted. It's something that only time will of how much influence he has had on the situation.