During Kyrie Irving’s six seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the club went from one that was awful to one that won the NBA title. Former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, according to ESPN insider Brian Windhorst, was “angry” following the Cavs’ victory over the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Finals.
It’s unclear what caused Irving to act in such an odd manner. Perhaps Irving’s efforts weren’t valued enough since LeBron James was getting all the attention, or perhaps Irving wanted to be traded because he wanted to lead a team.
Throwback to when Kyrie was angry after winning the Finals 🤔🥶 pic.twitter.com/lILCAUDnjv
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) August 30, 2023
“Kyrie is a strange dude,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said. While his teammates were possibly drowning in alcohol, Irving actually called Kobe Bryant. “I actually FaceTimed Kobe [Bryant] after the game as soon as I got in the locker room,” Kyrie said. Although they have occasionally faced off as rivals since the former Duke Blue Devils player joined the NBA in 2011, Bryant and Irving have grown closer over time.
They both participated in Team USA’s training camp before the 2012 London Olympics, which may have contributed in part to their bond.
Kyrie Irving revealed he felt empty after winning the 2016 championship
Kyrie Irving regretted asking the Cavaliers for a trade rather than staying to fight for more titles. So, why did Irving leave Cleveland in 2017, only one year after helping the Cavs win a championship?
“When I got up there, and you realize that all the accolades and all the achievements, yeah, it feels good, it feels great to add that to the career. But I felt empty – after I done travelled, after I done partied, after I done spent a bunch of money, after I done asked for more deals, after. We all been through it. So, feeling on top of that mountain, man, after a while, I just felt like I didn’t really know who I was. I didn’t know what my future was going to be,” Kyrie said in an interview.
As strange as it may sound, winning a championship did not do it for Kai. Irving sounds a lot like Kevin Durant when he said he felt not as fulfilled as expected by a title, seeking to find himself as an NBA star, isolating himself. It’s no surprise that Irving and Durant have such a strong connection. The former Nets players have discussed how they understand each other in ways that others do not.
It was problems like this. Irving wasn’t happy in Cleveland in a sense that wasn’t resolved by his several trips to the NBA Finals. He sulked, maybe as a result of LeBron James, and then asked for a move the next summer.