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What did Lebron James say about a possible Kyrie Irving trade to the Lakers?

In the wake of Kyrie Irving’s trade request, it’s now all about where to next. The Lakers’ LeBron James weighed in on the situation.

LeBron James y Kyrie Irving en los Lakers
Jason MillerGetty Images

Having played together before and more importantly won a championship during that time, The Lakers’ icon and the Nets’ point guard know each other all too well. Indeed, that’s precisely why LA’s talisman not only endorsed the idea of his former teammate’s move to the team, but went on to explain why it would only be a good thing.

LeBron James doubles down on effect that Kyrie Irving could have

It would be fair to say, that LeBron James would like some help in Los Angeles where the Lakers’ roster is concerned. Truth be told, James has made no secret of the idea that he’s not pleased about the personnel that he’s supported by, as he attempts to win a championship in the closing stages of his record-breaking career. With Kyrie Irving having issued a trade request and the NBA’s trade deadline falling on February 9th, you can imagine that speculation has now kicked into high-gear. As things stand, the Lakers are in fact one of the main suitors in line for Irving’s services.

To be clear, there has been no official word out of Los Angeles, as to whether or not they will in fact attempt to acquire Irving before Thursday’s deadline, but it goes without saying there are others in line, including their neighbors, the Los Angeles Clippers. What we do know, is that the Lakers - namely GM Rob Pelinka - have always maintained the stance that the only way they would shift their coveted draft capital - a 2027 and/or 2029 first-round pick - would be if they received a return that would immediately position them as title contenders. While that’s a broad description, we’re pretty sure that Kyrie Irving as a player, represents the kind of asset that could do just that. It also appears, that LeBron James thinks the same.

What has LeBron James said about the situation?

It goes without saying, that there are no guarantees in life and far less in basketball, but one thing we can’t deny is that as complicated as Irving has proven himself to be at times, he’s undoubtedly one of the best in the business today. When asked about a potential move for Irving and whether or not it could have the desire effect, James gave the usual response that one would expect of a player in that situation i.e., he indicated it was a question that was not for him to answer.

“That’s a Rob question,” James said, referring to Pelinka following the Lakers’ loss to the Pelicans. “You got to see [Rob] when y’all get back to L.A. I’ve told y’all [for] a couple weeks, I don’t speak for our front office. My mindset is whatever lineup or whatever group that we have is to make sure we prepare ourselves the best way we can to go out and win.” Yet, after a brief pause, James gave some insight into his thinking and it was somewhat more intriguing. “Obviously that’s a -- what’s the word you use -- ‘Duh’ question when you talk about a player like [Kyrie].”

Is LeBron James thinking team or individual glory?

No matter where you stand on Kyrie Irving, there are few things that can’t be denied. Two actually. On the one side, the 8-time NBA All-Star is a generational talent. On the other he’s problematic, unpredictable and downright divisive when it comes to his off-court behavior. That’s to say, that alongside the Draft capital that the Lakers don’t want to lose and the fact that Irving is looking for a four-year max deal - both of which are number related factors - one has to consider the true cost of investing in a player like Kyrie, when it comes to plotting a long-term path to success.

Now, this is where things get sticky. LeBron James is the greatest player we’ve seen in the NBA for quite some time. In reality, the fact that he’s on the verge of breaking the league’s all-time points record at this stage in his career is only testament to how great he really is. Yet, that’s actually part of the problem, isn’t it? James is in the twilight of his career and by all accounts would like another title before he brings the curtain down. To be clear, that’s an understandable desire. At the same time, it’s one that runs in direct contrast to those of the franchise itself, which will exist long after James is gone. Should the Lakers splash on a player who is exceptional, but could prove problematic for the dressing room and the front office, in the hopes of satisfying their star in the short run, or should they reaffirm their focus on that old sporting adage: There is ‘I’ in team?


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