When NBA superstar LeBron James announced he would be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, one of the first things fans looked forward to was the impending dynamic duo of James and fast-rising star Kyrie Irving manifesting into this era’s Jordan and Pippen.
Right out of the gate, the pairing looked like it would be a match made in heaven. Although the Cavs failed to win the NBA Championship in that first year, they showed that it would only be a matter of time before James and Irving would bring a title to Cleveland.
That matter of time would be exactly one year as the Cavaliers would overcome a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the biggest comeback the NBA Finals has ever seen.
Riding high on their Finals victory, James and Irving seemed to be only getting started with their dominance over the NBA, especially after defeating the mighty Warriors.
A year later however, the team was back at square one, losing 4-1 in the 2017 NBA Finals. This time, the loss seemed to extend simply going home without a trophy.
During the course of the finals, many witnessed James seemingly highjack Irving’s role, leading to many more missteps than successes. When Irving did get his time to shine, he showed why he’s at the top of the NBA. However, James’s mismanagement reared its ugly head, leading to their crushing defeat.
Heading into the 2017-18 season, the divide between James and Irving only grew wider. There were even reports that the duo would not speak to each other off the court.
Things came to a head in July when Irving made it very public that he wanted out. The Cavaliers and Boston Celtics worked out a deal to send Irving packing, ending what only could have been for Cleveland. Since then, James and Irving seem cordial, though both are itching to move past the implosion of 2017.
Join us tomorrow for our top sports stories of the year as we look at the Achilles heel of this year’s NFL season.