Kyrie Irving and LeBron James had a pretty successful and memorable partnership in Cleveland, before Kyrie decided to move on and make the switch to Boston.
The duo formed an able partnership for the Cavs, showcasing some brilliant chemistry between each other and helping Cleveland win the NBA title in 2016, wherein they came back from a 3-1 deficit agains the 73-9 Warriors.
However, one season after that Kyrie decided that he had had enough in Cleveland and was open to new challenges in his career.
Playing alongside LeBron was a major deciding factor in Kyrie’s decision, as he felt that his individual growth was massively getting hampered whilst playing with LeBron.
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) January 8, 2019
Kyrie Irving. Christmas Day. COLD BLOODED. (2016) pic.twitter.com/npVy3pBH18
— History in Ball 🏀 (@HistoryInBall) January 4, 2019
Whilst playing with LeBron, Kyrie admitted that a player has to change his style, as they have to fit into the ‘LeBron canvas’.
He admitted that the challenge is a little too much to handle for players and thus might want out.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” Kyrie said.
“You now become part of a championship-caliber team based on a unique talent. LeBron is so smart, so talented, such a strong leader.
“And you’re trying to implement who you are, and grow as a player and learn every single day. And it can be difficult because it demands a lot of you.” he added.
Kyrie highlighted how it could get confusing for players as to how to carry themselves around LeBron, if they should maintain their individuality or they should probably follow LeBron’s way.
“Certain times young players — and even older ones — find it a big transition, because you’re playing a certain way, and growing as a player, and you have a vision of what your career will look like.” Irving said.
“And then this player of such great stature arrives, and you’re still trying to be great, and he’s already great.
“And you find yourself asking, ‘OK, what are the steps to get there?’ So now do you learn by example from watching him? Do you learn by the way he treats his body? By the way he treats his business off the court? By his philanthropic path? So you just watch and you observe.” he added.
For Kyrie the pressure got a little too much and he wanted out, thereby deciding to move out of Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving on why it’s difficult to play with LeBron James pic.twitter.com/Ldi9F2Sul1
— 🌟 LALeBron 🌟 (@LALeBron23) January 10, 2019
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) January 12, 2019
Kyrie was afraid he was losing a sense of self whilst playing with LeBron and did not want to go down that road.
“You also have to be aware of the expectations from the outside and how that can infiltrate your thinking,” Irving said.
“Somehow it ends up where everybody wants to play the blame game when things don’t go right. So it’s just a lot to get used to. It comes with a lot of pressures. I believe the very, very special ones, the unique ones, gladly take on that challenge, and they relish it.
“You can’t be afraid to challenge another great person. That’s how greatness is achieved.
“It was a lot for me to figure out. The belief I have in myself goes way beyond anything that could deter me from what I want to accomplish. You can never ever, ever, ever, ever lose your sense of self while you are playing alongside a great player.” he added.