LeBron James may have escalated the drama over a potential Kyrie Irving trade.
Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland during a recent meeting with the Cavaliers front office, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. The only reason the press knows about that meeting is due to LeBron James, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Here's what Smith said, via Complex Sports:
According to my sources, they believe LeBron James had everything to do with news getting out that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded, because Kyrie Irving and his representation and others met with the Cavaliers a couple weeks ago, and not a word got out until recently. They believe that LeBron James got word of it and was put off by it and leaked it. I’m not going to accuse LeBron of such a thing. I don’t know that to be true at all. But I know that’s what Kyrie Irving believes.
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Irving is currently on the third year of his five-year, $90 million contract. He helped James and the Cavaliers finished second in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics.The Cavs then defeated the Celtics in the conference finals and made the NBA Finals where they lost in a 4-1 series against the Golden State Warriors.
Irving finished the season with 25.2 points per game, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 35.1 minutes.
Since Brad Stevens arrived in Boston, sharing the ball has been a strength of the Celtics. But this is a different season and a different roster.
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As the controversy raged Saturday over President Donald Trump's tweet rescinding the White House invitation to Golden State Warriors' star Stephen Curry, a tweeted photo recalling a simpler time for sports team's presidential visits appeared.
The nostalgic Twitter account @the_60s_at_50 posted a photo from the Celtics' visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and its principal occupant, John F. Kennedy, on Jan. 31, 1963. JFK had invited his hometown NBA team into the Oval Office for what seemed to be a spur-of-the-moment visit.
A newspaper account of the visit was also posted. The defending NBA champion Celtics were in the Washington area to play the Cincinnati Royals at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House that night and had been taking a tour of the White House when Kennedy invited them in.
All the team members were there except for star center Bill Russell, who, of course, experienced incidents of racism in Boston that were well-documented. However, Russell's absence was blamed on him oversleeping. His teammates said they didn't know they would meet Kennedy on the tour.
And yes, that's Celtics legend - and CSN's own - Tommy Heinsohn second from right. Coach Red Auerbach is next to the President on the left, Bob Cousy is next to Auerbach and John Havlicek is the first player in the second row on the left.