The more we look at the potential breakup between Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the more we see that it’s not LeBron James or Irving’s fault. The real reason for this spilt is the success of the Golden State Warriors.
In the three years that Golden State has been front and center of the NBA, the Cavs have been there as well. Three straight Finals appearances by both teams but only one has shown dominance. While Irving and the Cavs have destroyed the Eastern Conference they were only able to walk away with one ring. Maybe Irving sees the bigger picture and feels as though the team should have done more.
For all the talk of the Warriors adding Kevin Durant, what’s left unsaid is how the Warriors pretty much-dominated the Cavs for two seasons with Durant. No one expected the Cavs to beat the Warriors this past Finals but it was just something about that Cavs team that was shaky all season.
It didn’t matter if Durant was there or not, the Warriors were simply the better team while the Cavs were fighting inner-turmoil.
But now, with the news that Kyrie wants out, it all begins to make a little more sense. The blame is not on LeBron’s shoulders, it’s on Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Steve Kerr. It has to be hard to know you have a Big 3 of your own but no matter what you do– there is a team that’s better than yours.
As it stands now, the Warriors and Cavs are heading towards another classic battle in the NBA Finals in 2018. The only thing standing between that may be the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets. Well, Irving just changed that and it may be for good reason.
Remember when Durant left Oklahoma City and Russell Westbrook last year? This looks to be about the same. As good as LeBron is, maybe Irving feels the Cavs have reached their ceiling. Think about it. How much more can the improve without sacrificing their core? The Warriors were in great shape as Durant was a free agent, thus resulting in no key pieces being forced out.
The Cavs have no similar luxury.
If the Cavs wish to improve that means a player or players has to go. LeBron is not being traded and Kevin Love has very few teams willing to deal for his contract. All that leaves is Irving.
Irving sees the writing on the wall. He hears the rumors of how LeBron wishes to play with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul plus the realization that he has left him hometown team high and dry before. James told Cleveland he would bring them a title and he did. Mission accomplished and now he may be looking for a new challenge.
Irving is looking out for himself and that’s not a problem. He sees the Warriors as an unstoppable group and understands that his current Cavs team cannot beat them. So why sit and watch when you actually have the chance to make changes? There is not another team that Irving can go to who will put fear into the hearts of the Warriors. If he cannot win a ring with LeBron then who can he beat the Warriors with?
This is all Irving wants. He wants a chance to avoid the Golden State Warriors for a fourth straight year.