The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the favorites to acquire Kyrie Irving in a trade when the 30-year-old voiced his wish to leave the Brooklyn Nets. It certainly looked like he followed in Kevin Durant’s footsteps by requesting a trade despite how well the Nets have been doing this year. Along with the LeBron James-led Lakers, the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks were also monitoring the situation. In the end, it was Mark Cuban’s franchise that managed to agree on a deal with the Nets.
The Lakers missed out on yet another massive opportunity. The 17-time NBA champs were aiming to make one last trade to improve their roster after acquiring Rui Hachimura recently. However, the Mavs swooped in and decided to line Kyrie up alongside Luka Doncic. The fact that the Lakers could not sign Kyrie has been a tough pill to swallow for many, including the great LeBron James.
How does LeBron James feel about the LA Lakers’ missed opportunity?
Recently, LeBron James sat with ESPN in an interview to discuss various things. One of the things he spoke about was the Kyrie trade and his feelings on the matter. King James said, “Definitely disappointed. I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed [about] not being able to land such a talent, someone I had great chemistry with, and know I got great chemistry with on the floor, that can help you win championships. But my focus has shifted now, my focus has shifted back to where it should be. That’s this club now, and what we have in the locker room.”
LeBron sat down with @RealMikeWilbon to share his thoughts on the Lakers not being able to trade for his former teammate Kyrie Irving:
“I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed on not being able to land such a talent.” pic.twitter.com/2smRTk3Y0c
— ESPN (@espn) February 6, 2023
As LeBron mentioned, Irving was crucial to the only NBA title he won. For those who don’t know, both LeBron and Kyrie played together for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The pair even brought an NBA championship to the city in 2016, after making a sensational comeback from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors. That year, Kyrie averaged 21.2 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 74 games including playoffs. LeBron, on the other hand, put up 25.5 points, 6.9 assists, and 7.9 rebounds in 97 games. These numbers certainly show how deadly of a duo these two were back in the day.
It wasn’t a huge surprise that the Lakers had interest in Kyrie, given his “chemistry” with King James, as the man mentioned as well. However, the 4x NBA champion believes that now is not the time to ponder about what could have been and that he would rather focus on the task at hand. The Lakers are still struggling in the league this year, with playoffs still being only a possibility. In addition to that, LeBron is also focused on becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He’s only 36 points away from breaking Kareem’s record.