Kyrie Irving certainly left the basketball-viewing world shocked when he announced his intention to quit the Cleveland Cavaliers, following their loss to the Golden State Warriors in last season’s NBA finals.
The crafty point guard seemed to share a comfy relationship with LeBron James, at least on the court, so his yearning for estrangement did cause a bit of jaw-dropping around the NBA.
The pair won a ring together in the previous campaign and looked set to recoil from their loss and have another try at it this season. It wasn’t to be, however, with Irving ultimately getting traded to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas.
The initial notion was one of the player wanting to distance himself from LeBron in order to show that he can operate efficiently and win titles out of the latter’s shadow. And that seemed pretty reasonable.
Since then, there have been many twists to the tale, and several suggestions have come to the fore. The latest one, though, cites the pulling back of a certain hand as one of the reasons trouble sparked in paradise.
According to a story in The Athletic, the frostiness may have come about long before the pair even played together in their last final.
As Jason Lloyd reports, Drederick Irving (Kyrie’s father) was leaving the players’ locker room, on a particular occasion during the three years LeBron and Kyrie were teammates, while Randy Mims, a member of the Cavs’ staff and one of LeBron’s closest friends, was just about entering. Mims extended his hand to offer a high five, but Irving pulled his hand back, snubbing the pleasantry.
LeBron later went to Irving to inquire as to why his dad had blanked his friend, and the guard responded by saying that his father didn’t encourage “fraternizing with the enemy.”
“One day during the three years LeBron James and Kyrie Irving spent as teammates, Drederick Irving was exiting the Cavs’ locker room when Randy Mims was entering. Mims, one of James’ lifelong friends and an official Cavs employee, reached out his hand to slap Drederick five. But Dred, Irving’s father, pulled his own arm back and refused the gesture.
“When James later asked Irving about the incident and if there was something wrong, Irving said his father believed they shouldn’t be “fraternizing with the enemy.”
It does seem a tad weird, in all honesty. But if true, this recent revelation does suggest that there were bad feelings on the Irving side prior to the snubbed high five.
The former teammates did appear to put the beef behind them during the season opener featuring the Celtics and Cavs, exchanging hugs and a few words. But it looks like the story isn’t about to go away just yet.
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