NBA players have often had to field some dumb questions from the media. But few, if any, are dumber than what Kyrie was asked by a reporter back in 2015.
During his first season with James, Kyrie and the Cavs were embarking on a deep postseason run. They had overcome challenges from the Celtics and the Bulls in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Most experts ranked them as favorites to go through to the Finals and win it all.
Given what has happened in the interim, we know that Kyrie did not like being in LeBron’s shadow in Cleveland. But the extent to which he was pushed to the sidelines is demonstrated no better than during this particular interview.
A reporter asks Kyrie Irving about ‘father-like’ role played by LeBron for the team
Kyrie was severely limited during this playoff run by a knee injury. He did not play well in their Game 1 win over the Hawks, tallying only 10 points and 6 assists through 27 minutes. But he certainly did not deserve to have to face this question from a media member.
Reporter: “The other day after the Bulls game Tristan called LeBron a great father. What type of parental role has LeBron played for you and your teammates?”
Kyrie was visibly bemused at the reporter, but he responded level headedly: “Parental role? I don’t know if I can really answer that question. He’s been a great leader for us. I have one father, it’s my dad Drederick Irving. But for us, in terms of learning the nuances of the game and how to win, how to carry ourselves on and off the court, he’s been a really great influence in that role.”
@Deadspin@KyrieIrving handled it well. That was an awful question. @KingJames shouldn’t be a father figure to him.
— Ts (@ThomasSheehan2) May 19, 2015
Kyrie had a really big role to play in the Cavs’ Finals runs when he was LeBron’s teammate in Cleveland. For him, as a grown man with a father who’s also his agent, to be asked this question, reeks of poor journalism.