Kyrie Irving reportedly ‘relishing’ clash with LeBron James, NBA over restart in Orlando
Brooklyn Nets All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving emerged as a tough-as-nails fighter against the NBA’s proposed restart in Orlando, Florida. The one-time NBA champion, who spearheaded a call with over one hundred players to discuss a supposed united message, now could be on the wrong side with former teammate LeBron James and the rest of the league, too.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyrie Irving, 28, discussed personal issues with the proposed NBA resumption plan—approved by both the Board of Governors (franchise owners) and NBPA—with the players’ union.
Sources say Irving asked, as an injured player, if he would count among the Nets’ allotted 35 people should he want to join the Orlando bubble? Could he sit in the stands to cheer on his teammates? Use a sauna for his rehab?
Additionally, and more intriguingly, the former Boston Celtics point guard’s resistance against the league ending its now three-plus-month-long hiatus has put a thorn in the side of James, with whom he won a title in Cleveland.
Irving’s stance has pitted himself against the league’s establishment one more time, including his former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. There’s significant support to resume the season among the league’s superstars — most of whom are on playoff contenders — and Irving seems to be relishing the clash.
Irving left Cleveland on bad terms, forcing a trade to Boston before the 2017-18 season, where the Cavs would once again compete in the NBA Finals and lose to the Golden State Warriors. Irving later had issues, reportedly, with teammates on the Celtics, leading to his free agency decision going to the New York borough with two-time champion forward Kevin Durant.
Irving’s star appeal could win favor among players and teams not in contention to start opposing the plan to restart the NBA at the end of July, while other stars like James have pushed to press play on the season and head into the playoffs.