While it was never guaranteed, many basketball people thought a Kyrie Irving-LeBron James was inevitable late last week. After the former Brooklyn Nets’ requested a trade, it sure seemed like the Los Angeles Lakers would pull the requisite strings to pair Irving up with James again.
Instead, Irving would be traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he’ll try to maximize the rest of the season with the brilliant Luka Doncic. Notice how I said “rest of the season” only. In a Tuesday introductory press conference, Irving was asked about missing another opportunity to play with James. He was also specifically asked about James’ “disappointment” from an interview about losing out on the star guard.
Based on Irving’s rather heartfelt response, where he qualifies his feelings with sentiments like “what could’ve been” and “what should be,” it sure seems like he’ll find a way to play with James again:
Kyrie on hearing how LeBron wanted him to be a Laker pic.twitter.com/D2wOtM9Bwm
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) February 7, 2023
I definitely can’t tell the future, but that doesn’t sound like a man who plans to stay in Dallas beyond this coming summer. If anything, it’s pretty apparent Irving, a pending unrestricted free agent, will try to reunite with James in Los Angeles.
Again, I’m just reading the body language and actual language Irving uses.
If Irving wanted to be a Maverick long-term, he would’ve been more enthusiastic. Instead, he seemed rather heartbroken that he didn’t pair up with James again, knowing he would soon have the choice. Judging by what happened last time these two were together — they helped the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA title — expect fireworks if this reunion actually happens.
NBA fans were convinced Irving wanted to reunite with James after his interview
He still wanna be a Laker! https://t.co/ea3DPTJKB0
— LA Sports Live (@LASportsLive1) February 7, 2023
Maybe the quickest #HeGone in NBA history 😂 https://t.co/JQE5a0Kx37
— Michael Sykes, II (@MikeDSykes) February 7, 2023
Yeah @Lakers just rock out this year man, and off season bro coming https://t.co/8SU7RCFFOA
— Javan Martin (@Javanmartin_) February 7, 2023
We got next season Kai! #LakeShow https://t.co/VVS0dhtvLj
— Good Job Kev 🍊 (@CoachKevan7) February 7, 2023
👀👀 he is probably a laker in summer https://t.co/HDyuruLYVK
— Mohamed Mazhar (@mohamedmazhar_) February 7, 2023
Kyrie will be a Laker this summer. You heard it first here ✌🏼 https://t.co/nhspHh154q
— Faysal (@elfayz_) February 7, 2023
He wants to be in that purple and gold so bad. https://t.co/5RBZEP53GY
— Robert 💔💔 (@RobertRaymond46) February 7, 2023
Oh he’s a Laker next year https://t.co/ifRqKnePKe
— Justice (@justfitted_) February 7, 2023
Oh yeah he totally sounds committed to Dallas. Really happy to be there https://t.co/TUlgdfSBhf
— Locked On Celtics (@LOCeltics) February 7, 2023
Yeah he leaving once he’s a Free Agent https://t.co/w1yV7c2GHH
— Austin Kneebrace (@AustinKneebrace) February 7, 2023
Wow. This dude is walking in FA in 3 months. https://t.co/2xS51gNJ4r
— Jacob Kniffen (@JacobKniffen) February 7, 2023
Yeah, Kyrie wants to be a Laker https://t.co/GhmUu8eXse
— LakeShowHoopsᴾᴴ (@LakeShowHoopsPH) February 7, 2023