ESPN’s Dave McMenamin dropped a good nugget about Kyrie Irving’s relationship with his Cleveland teammates on today’s episode of The BBALLBREAKDOWN NBA Podcast. The Cavs reporter was asked about the possibility of a trade that would send Irving to the Suns and had this to say:
I tweeted this a week or so ago—I’m not sure. Phoenix of course hired James Jones this offseason. James Jones has been inside that locker room. He’s seen Kyrie Irving—I think I reported this on SportsCenter this week—he saw Kyrie Irving in the playoffs this year, in between the first round when the beat Indiana and the second round when they played Toronto, go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice. On that stage! It’s one thing to say people go through their ups and downs in the regular season, but when you get to the playoffs, the main thing is the main thing, and we’re brothers, and we’re pulling together to get this thing done. Even at that level there were still things that made him sullen or reclusive from his teammates. I’m not so sure Phoenix would be interested in that type of deal.
Now maybe James Jones has seen stuff that—he knows just how special Kyrie is though, and he can sell the franchise on him. But part of me thinks more that it would be a caution flag coming from James Jones.
While the flurry of trade rumors around Irving has subsided in recent weeks, there’s no reason to believe the star guard is now content to stay in Ohio. This is just the latest in a steady drip of reports to suggest he’s on uneasy terms with the team, and has been for quite a while now.