Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving doesn’t like LA Lakers superstar LeBron James. No one knows exactly why, but it’s evident that Irving didn’t enjoy the three years he played with James on the Cleveland Cavaliers despite the duo winning the 2016 championship together.
On Thursday, Irving and the Nets blew out James and the Lakers at Staples Center. Uncle Drew also viciously trolled The King on national television.
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James have a complicated past
When LeBron James returned to the Cavs in the summer of 2014, multiple reports stated that Kyrie Irving didn’t want The Chosen One to return to Cleveland. The All-Star point guard wanted to be the face of the Cavs franchise and knew that wouldn’t be possible with LeBron back in town.
Despite being a lethal dynamic duo on the court, Irving and James didn’t see eye-to-eye behind the scenes. That was mostly Irving’s fault, though, as he wanted the ball in his hands more.
During the offseason of 2017, Irving shocked the basketball world by requesting a trade from the Cavs. It is believed he didn’t want to play with James anymore despite going to three straight Finals with the future Hall of Famer.
Since leaving Cleveland, Irving has continued to slight James. Before the 2020-21 season, Uncle Drew said Kevin Durant is the first teammate he’s ever had who can hit shots in the clutch. James admitted that Irving’s comments “hurt” him since all he ever wanted was for Irving to succeed alongside him in Cleveland.
Thursday was the first time LeBron James and Kyrie Irving faced each other since Irving’s controversial comments. Not only did the two superstars not greet each other before the game, but Irving trolled James during the middle of the contest.
Kyrie Irving clowned LeBron James in the first quarter
After LeBron James missed a technical free-throw in the first quarter, Kyrie Irving went over to the Lakers bench and said, “That’s your best free-throw shooter?” It was a clear shot by Irving toward James, who has never been a reliable shooter from the free-throw line.
The Nets defeated the Lakers by a final score of 109-98. Irving finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while James put up 32 points, eight boards, and seven dimes. LeBron also became the third player in NBA history to score over 35,000 career points.
Anthony Davis didn’t play for the Lakers, while Kevin Durant was out for the Nets. NBA fans hope Brooklyn and LA will meet in the 2021 NBA Finals and that both teams are healthy. A seven-game series featuring LeBron, AD, KD, Irving, and James Harden would be must-see TV.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were both named All-Star starters for the 2021 All-Star Game. James and Kevin Durant are the team captains, so it will be interesting to see which team Irving plays on.
The Lakers won’t win a title without Anthony Davis, while the Nets have to shore up their defense
Anthony Davis will be out four weeks after being re-evaluated by team doctors on Thursday. The Chicago native re-aggravated his Achilles injury and suffered a calf strain last week against the Denver Nuggets.
LeBron James is the NBA’s best player, but the Lakers won’t repeat as champions this season without a healthy Davis. The Nets, meanwhile, need to shore up their defense to win a title. They have the worst defense in NBA history since acquiring James Harden from the Houston Rockets.