NBA Insider Brian Windhorst reveals LeBron James had tried reaching out to Kyrie Irving in 2019 to mend fences and recruit him to the LA Lakers, but the latter chose Kevin Durant.
It’s no secret that the relationship between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving has only gone from bad to worse over the years. The two former Cavs teammates enjoyed great success in Cleveland, ending the city’s 52-year-old championship drought in the most iconic NBA Finals.
Unfortunately, cracks began to appear in their relationship soon after, with Irving forcing his way out of Cleveland. According to reports, the Cavs guard didn’t want to be under the shadow of James and not play the second lead. Though LBJ was disappointed with Irving’s decision, he didn’t say much.
As years passed by, the two rarely saw eye to eye. Though the former teammates shared mutual respect, Irving did indulge in some LeBron slander on occasions. However, the former Duke guard has been regretful of his past actions, evident in his recent interviews.
During a recent appearance on ESPN, NBA Insider Brian Windhorst divulged some intricate details revolving around James trying to recruit Irving to the Lakers in 2019.
LeBron James had tried recruiting Kyrie Irving to the Lakers in 2019.
Both James and Irving enjoyed a fair share of success during their tenure in Cleveland, a case in point being the iconic 2016 NBA championship. Sadly, their partnership ended sooner than expected, as Irving demanded a trade from Cleveland and would have his wishes granted.
Nonetheless, Irving couldn’t place himself in Boston, with reports of him having rifts with teammates and the front office. Thus it was no surprise that Irving decided to opt out during free agency despite making claims of re-signing with the Cs after playing two seasons in Boston.
It was during this time that James extended an olive branch to his former teammate, trying to recruit him to the Lakers. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst,
“A couple of years ago when Kyrie was headed to free agency, LeBron James was interested in trying to recruit him to the LA Lakers,” said Windy. “And he reached and attempted to mend fences. It lasted for a short time. When Kyrie didn’t choose the Lakers, their relationship went away again.”
While Irving’s refusal would have James bring Anthony Davis on board, the former Cavs guard would head to Brooklyn, choosing to join forces with Kevin Durant. There is no denying the skill and talent of Irving-Durant, but they are yet to make an NBA Finals appearance.
On the other hand, James recruiting AD did pay its dividends, with the Lakers winning a championship in the 2020 Bubble. Unfortunately, the purple and gold have struggled since then, with Davis missing most games due to injuries.