Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were slated to form a partnership that could have ruled NBA, but the equation did not quite match up and Kyrie was forced to leave Cavs for the Celtics last year.
For Kyrie, the equation was clearly laid out; he was never going to be the face of the franchise.
LeBron was the go-to man and Kyrie was supposed to play second fiddle, a reality that wasn’t quite acceptable to Kyrie, at least not in the long-term.
During his time in Cleveland, Kyrie was focussed on learning as much as he could, rubbing shoulders with LeBron on a daily basis and soaking in all that he could.
“I wasn’t the face of the franchise. They made that very clear.”
— NESN (@NESN) October 9, 2018
“I didn’t really see it as that, man,” Irving said when asked if he was LeBron’s lieutenant at Cleveland.
“I honestly just saw it as a point in my career in which I needed to learn and grow. I took as much knowledge as I could, and I moved on with my career.
“I think the biggest thing is … I had to learn a lot about the game of basketball. Being with ‘Bron, and being with Mike Miller and James Jones — being around the veterans like that was one of the first time I went from being one of the youngest to one of the oldest. So, whether it was a lieutenant, sergeant, whatever you want to call it to ‘Bron, I think that being around him and his basketball knowledge as well as all the other veterans that complemented us at that time was something I needed.” he added.
He then admitted the fact that Cleveland were never going to give the keys to their kingdom to him.
“I wasn’t the face of the franchise,” he said.
“They made that very clear. I was just a great piece in Cleveland — which I gratefully accepted.
“They weren’t giving me the keys to the franchise,” he added.