While there aren’t any serious indications that this could lead to Kyrie Irving joining the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency this summer, a new report suggests that LeBron James is now amenable to the idea of burying the hatchet with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate and possibly teaming up with him in the future.
Citing a subscriber-only report published on Thursday night by the Athletic’s Sam Amick, Bleacher Report wrote that James is “open to the possibility of playing with Irving again,” given how the Boston Celtics point guard could enter free agency in the 2019 offseason if he declines the player option on his contract. According to Amick’s sources, this is a further sign that James is someone who is “willing to forgive,” much like how he rejoined the Cavaliers in 2014 despite being publicly blasted by owner Dan Gilbert in 2010 after he appeared on ESPN to announce his decision to sign with the Miami Heat as a free agent.
As recalled by Bleacher Report, James and Irving weren’t seeing eye-to-eye in the lead-up to the latter’s departure from the Cavaliers in the 2017 offseason. The publication cited an earlier report from the Athletic’s Joe Vardon, which illustrated how James “did little” to prevent Cleveland management from trading Irving to the Celtics. However, recent weeks have seen both sides seemingly mending fences after a long period of apparent estrangement.
In January, a report from ESPN detailed how Irving had recently spoken to James to apologize for the times when he reacted negatively to the four-time NBA MVP’s criticism when they were teammates in Cleveland. He also acknowledged that James did a lot during his time with the Cavaliers to show his teammates “how to win a championship,” difficult as it was for him on multiple occasions.
“I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people,” Irving said.
Per Bleacher Report, James reacted to Irving’s comments by tagging the All-Star point guard’s Instagram account in a video where he sang a portion from Fetty Wap’s song “Rewind” while driving.
Although the possibility of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving reconciling as Los Angeles Lakers teammates in the 2019-20 season could shape up as an exciting development for the team’s fans, Amick stressed that sources close to the Celtics still don’t see the Lakers as one of Irving’s top suitors in free agency. Furthermore, USA Today’s LeBron Wire reported on Thursday that, per the Boston Globe, Irving “almost certainly” won’t sign with the Lakers to reunite with James, given how he allegedly sees this possibility as a “joke.”