Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Irving was once again asked about his relationship with James and why he requested a trade from the Cavaliers. James told reporters at Cavaliers’ media day that he was planning to give Irving the keys to the Cavaliers, and that he wasn’t sure what he did to motivate Irving to request a deal.
Irving’s responses were as icy as ever.
“I mean, if we ever have that conversation, I don’t think it’s for anybody else but me and him,” Irving said.
Irving was pressed on whether there were things James could have done better.
“That’s what I’m saying, even if there are things, it’s not anybody else’s business,” Irving said. “It’s just really between two men. That’s really where it is. As much as everyone here would like to hear that. That’s between two men.”
MassLive’s Tom Westerholm characterizes Irving’s response as ‘icy’. On the internet, similar opinions were registered:
Frankly, I’m doing my dangedest and I just can’t figure out why anyone with sense would have an issue with Kyrie’s response here.
What are the options here?
- Criticize LeBron through the media
- Discuss the matter with LeBron like two adults
I’ll grant you, option 1 makes for great news, but news has always–and now especially–thrived on conflict. Adults resolving issues privately and maturely is not going to grab headlines.
Putting LeBron on blast sure would.
And, when Kyrie refuses, repeatedly, to discuss his relationship with LeBron, it’s time to play up a different conflict: Kyrie vs. the media. “WHY WON’T KYRIE TELL US ALL OF HIS REASONS FOR LEAVING CLEVELAND, INCLUDING JUICY DETAILS ABOUT LEBRON????? WHAT IS HE TRYING TO HIDE??????”
You saw it a week ago on First Take when Kellerman and Smith had to create conflict from Kyrie’s refusal to instigate conflict with LeBron just to make sure that they had enough conflict to get everyone through the show.
I mean, really, can you imagine you, in the course of your everyday life, having to answer the kind of ludicrous questions that a Jeff Goodman, or a Stephen A., or a Max Kellerman threw at Kyrie?
“Can you talk about why you decided to switch to a multigrain bread when you make sandwiches?”
“Well, you know, I wanted to try something new.”
“But you used to eat only whole wheat bread. Now you’re eating bread with other grains in it. What does this say about your relationship with wheat?”
“I have no problem with wheat, I just felt like trying a different kind of bread.”
“Look, we all know about how you used to eat wheat bread. We have seen you eat wheat bread for a long time now. We’ve never heard you say anything bad about wheat bread. But now, you’re buying a different kind of bread. A kind of bread that has less wheat in it. And you don’t want to talk about why you want bread with less wheat in it?”
“I already said, I wanted to try a different kind of bread. I might buy another loaf of wheat bread in the future.”
“Was there anything that made you want to stop buying wheat bread? Why don’t you want to talk about why you’ve stopped buying wheat bread?”
and so on and so forth.
These guys get paid a lot of money; money that ultimately comes from fans. This doesn’t mean that the fans ‘own’ these players, but players do ‘owe’ fans certain things. Those things do not include an obligation to fill their own lives with conflict and headaches merely for the sake of providing fans and talking heads something to argue about.
Page 2: Where Brad sold Kyrie on Brad?
“I’ve been in four All-Star Games and that was the one that I’ll remember most,” he said. “Because Coach Stevens took the time to put all our child highlights together, from high school . . . put pictures up of, like, all of us, individually, like Paul Millsap, [LeBron James], myself, Paul George . . .
“And [we’re] sitting there before the All-Star Game and [he told us], ‘Don’t ever forget. This is where it started for you guys. This love, and you guys are all here sharing this experience, and I want to make this memorable.’ And right there, he did.”
And now that he’s a Celtic?
“Oh, man, I wouldn’t want to be with another coach,” Irving said. “Because he is that intellectual. He is that high-character guy. He’s growth-oriented. He wants the best for his team. He’s realistic about his goals, about the mission.
So, fortunately, Brad Stevens won’t be coaching the All Star game next year, because I can’t imagine the East holding the West to below 200.
But that story is a reminder that IT wasn’t the only guy recruiting people to the Celtics; Stevens is pretty okay at recruiting too. In fact, he’s so good at it, he’ll leave you wondering if he knows how good he is at it while suspecting that yes, in fact, he does. And this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about that highlight reel either. Jimmy Butler raved about it back in March:
He also asked Celtics video assistant Matt Reynolds to put together a highlight tape that featured each player in high school, college (when applicable) and the NBA. Butler said the highlights, which the East All-Stars watched together, went back far enough to show him with a bald head.
“Which is a damn shame,” he chuckled Sunday night after falling to Stevens’ Celtics, 100-80.
“It’s funny because everybody had that reaction like, ‘Oh my gosh, that was me back in the day,'” Butler said. “It’s crazy to see how far you can come. Even for guys that were No. 1 in the nation to this, like, just watching yourself play back in that time, it’s so different man. Basketball has changed so much now, you’ve grown so much that seeing yourself in that era of your life is like, ‘Wow. Look where I am now sitting in that Eastern Conference All-Star locker room. Who knew that kid would become that?'”
So, you know, imagine if the ball bounces a bit differently. Imagine the Celtics end up with Butler on the roster instead of Kyrie. It seems a fair bet that if that happened, Jimmy would be coming aboard with a similar appreciation for Stevens’ ability to coach his players.
Finally: You get to drink from the firehose!
Ain’t the offseason anymore. Training camp starts today in Newport, and there’s a ton of additional material to sort through from yesterday’s media day events
Al Horford: Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving trade was ‘a big surprise’ | Boston Celtics news: Marcus Smart believes weight loss will help him defend elite NBA guards like John Wall, Bradley Beal | Jaylen Brown: Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum ‘can shoot the ball with some of the best’ | Boston Celtics news: Danny Ainge could be patient with 15th roster spot, optimistic about Marcus Morris’ trial | Marcus Smart: ‘Everybody wants to start,’ but Boston Celtics focused on winning a title | Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown say Boston Celtics will consider how to promote unity after President Donald Trump’s remarks | Marcus Smart thought Boston Celtics might include him in Kyrie Irving trade
Kyrie Irving takes leading role with Celtics | Jaylen Brown engages Celtics in discussion about protests | First look at the revamped Celtics has us intrigued | ‘I feel like I took a new job,’ Brad Stevens said of his rebuilt Celtics | Here are some takeaways and notable quotes as Celtics media day unfolds
Superteam standings shakeup: Where do Celtics stand after Kyrie deal? | Gordon Hayward interview | Jayson Tatum interview | Jaylen Brown interview | Celtics’ Morris (trial) likely to miss camp’s start