LeBron James Is 'Tempted' To Kick Kyrie Irving's 'A**,' Stephen A. Smith Claims

Robert Jonathan

LeBron James might be tempted to deliver a beatdown to Cleveland Cavaliers teammate (for now) Kyrie Irving if the two NBA superstars were in the same room.

That is the contention of sports pundit Stephen A. Smith, based on what insiders have supposedly told him.

The desire by LBJ to kick Irving's "a**" is not based on Irving's surprise desire to be traded, according to Smith. Instead, James simply doesn't want to be dragged into the Irving drama at the risk of his own reputation.

The ESPN First Take host, whose detractors sometimes refer to him as Screamin' A but who is generally well connected throughout the NBA, addressed the James-Irving rift on his SiriusXM radio yesterday, ESPN reported.

Stephen A. Smith noted that James supposedly understands how a player of Kyrie Irving's stature and skills might want to move on to another team where he could run the entire offense.

"According to my sources, LeBron James has tried to appease [Irving] at every turn…I've had sources in the LeBron James camp literally tell me, and I'm quoting…if Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted, quote, to beat his a** end quote….LeBron James' beef with Kyrie has nothing to do with Kyrie wanting to be traded. LeBron's problem, according to what I'm being told, is that LeBron is upset that Kyrie has made him a subject to be broached in regards to Kyrie's desire to move out."

Smith further explained that James is disturbed about the perception being created that he is "a difficult teammate" or a "prima donna."

It may be that Irving is trying to get out of Dodge before James, who is still regarded as the league's best player, bolts after the 2017-2018 season when he again becomes a free agent. There is widespread speculation that James will head to the Los Angeles Lakers, assuming he's really going to leave the Cavs in the lurch for a second time. If the duo stays together even for just one more season, however, barring injuries, they are a lock to go to the NBA Finals in the upcoming campaign. The Cavs have faced off against the Golden State Warriors in three consecutive championship rounds. That super teams like the Warriors and Cavs seem to render the NBA regular season almost meaningless is another matter.

Although time will tell, Irving will likely be sent to a team that has little chance of success in the playoffs, especially if he winds up on the New York Knicks or Minnesota Timberwolves.

Perhaps in anticipation of Kyrie Irving's departure, Cleveland just signed point guard Derrick Rose to a one-year deal.

At this level of professionals sports, the egos are massive, so it remains to be seen if LeBron James and Kyrie Irving can repair their relationship either as members of the Cleveland Cavaliers or as elite NBA players on opposing teams.

[Featured Image by Darron Cummings/AP Images]