Why Kyrie Irving’s ‘apology’ to LeBron is diabolical

 sbnation.com  01/17/2019 12:35:19  2  Tom Ziller

Kyrie Irving ripped the Raptors’ still-beating hearts from their chests on Wednesday night. Toronto executed a comeback over the course of the second half and took a 2-point lead with a little over six minutes left. Boston outscored Toronto 25-12 from there with Irving scoring or assisting on every remaining Celtics bucket. Irving finished with 27 points and 18 assists, and the sort of win that can get a confused team on the right path.

Then Kyrie got real evil.

Unprompted in the postgame scrum, Kyrie revealed that he had called old teammate LeBron James recently to talk about leadership and to -- get this -- apologize for ... well, let’s let him tell it.

“I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold. I wanted to be all that and the responsibility of being the best in the world, and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people. Bron was one of those guys who came to Cleveland and tried to show us how to win a championship.”

Kyrie then tied it back to his nascent beef with the Celtics’ young players, with Irving acknowledging that calling out teammates isn’t the best way to solve things but essentially declaring that LeBron Was Right and These Young Dudes Need to Get in Line If They Want Me to Carry Them to a Title. The comments coming directly after Kyrie literally carried the Celtics to a marquee win is a fact lost on no one.

Kyrie resented LeBron’s form of leadership and all-enveloping shadow when trapped in it even though he won a title and personal accolades. He’s using that experience not to be different than LeBron as a leader, though. He’s using the fact that LeBron carried him to a title to treat his younger teammates the same way he hated being treated! And he’s not hiding this gambit: he’s spelling it out explicitly in media comments, unprompted.

Kyrie is different, y’all.

Scores

Magic 115, Pistons 120 (OT)
Raptors 108, Celtics 117
Nets 145, Rockets 142 (OT)
Bucks 111, Grizzlies 101
Spurs 105, Mavericks 101
Cavaliers 112, Blazers 129
Pelicans 140, Warriors 147
Jazz 129, Clippers 109

Schedule

All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise indicated.

Knicks vs. Wizards IN LONDON, 3, NBA TV
Kings at Hornets, 7
Sixers at Pacers, 7, TNT
Suns at Raptors, 7:30
Bulls at Nuggets, 9
Lakers at Thunder, 9:30, TNT

Links

Paul Flannery has 10 questions that will define the rest of the NBA season.

Dennis Smith Jr. is now apparently sick. The Mavericks and Smith’s camp both seem mad. What an awful way to handle this situation.

Boston’s Terry Rozier problem.

What the Lakers need Lonzo Ball to do more often.

Chris Herring with a deep dive on the issue of James Harden burn-out.

Wrote about how to talk about Harden’s bizarre box scores, using Sunday’s 1-17 from three episode as a jumping off point. By the way, the dude scored 57 against the Nets ... meaning he scored 113 in two games just now. WHAT THE

That Nets-Rockets game was wild. Look at the box score. Houston took 70 threes!

Turkey is seeking extradition of Enes Kanter related to accusations of support for an exiled cleric living in Pennsylvania. Kanter is not with the Knicks in London this week.

The story of how someone spotted the Menendez brothers sitting front-row on an old Mark Jackson basketball card.

James Herbert on what’s different about the Raptors.

The Bulls got petty and denied Lakers fans tacos. Lakers fans got heated.

Kirk Goldsberry on Steph Curry’s really deep threes.

A critique of Derek Fisher in Jacobin.

In appreciation of Dunking Klay Thompson.

Be excellent to each other.

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