I’m not going to go too in depth about last nights game, Chuck will cover it as usual. Just know that after calling out young players (Jaylen Brown) to the media, and said young players returning the favor, Kyrie’s ability to lead was called into question. When you demand a trade to get out of LeBron’s shadow, and you want to be “the guy”, you have to conduct yourself the way “the guy” would. Complaining about young teammates to the media isn’t the way to do that. After Brown retorted, a team meeting was allegedly held to get everyone on the same page. That meeting seemed to work out as Kyrie was lights out down the stretch and the young guys off the bench played their roles to a tee last night. However, in between Brown’s comments and the meeting, Kyrie made an interesting phone call.
Kyrie Irving, leader of the Boston Celtics, called LeBron James, leader of the Los Angeles Lakers, and it was the perfect move. Kyrie has now been a young guy who had to sacrifice his role for an All Star, and the All Star who needs guys to sacrifice for him. The difference with LeBron though, is he’s had to be that guy since he was 18. Before LeBron returned to the Cavs, Kyrie was already becoming an elite point guard. If Dan Gilbert wanted to he could’ve built a team around Irving and contended in the East for years, however he jumped at the chance to get the best player ever (yes, you read that right) back in the brown and gold. Obviously we all know how that ended, and flash forward a few years and Kyrie finds himself in LeBron’s shoes. When Irving went down last year Tatum, Brown, and Rozier all proved they can carry a team to the conference finals. Stevens had to give them the keys to the kingdom for a few months, and they were one quarter away from dancing with Golden State in the finals. This season though, Kyrie is back and it is his team, as it should be. Scary Terry and Jaylen Brown have to accept that their minutes and touches will be cut, but it’s more than justifiable if they disagree. I mean, less than 10 months ago Jaylen was carrying us past the Bucks, Terry was dominating Philadelphia, and they pushed LeBron to his limit. Kyrie needed to be a leader and let them know their time will come but right now they have a different job to do. He’s supposed to be the one who gets the best out of them in their, albeit unwanted, new roles, and he has failed to do that. When Terry comes off the bench launching from three every other possession, Kyrie has to be the one to reel him in. When Jaylen tries to blindly drive to the hoop for the seventeenth time in a row, Kyrie has to be the one to calm him down, because that’s what LeBron would do. Kyrie, with all his talents, has zero rings without LeBron’s leadership. It is no coincidence that Cleveland stunk without LeBron, yet made the finals without Kyrie. So if Kyrie wants to call LeBron to see what he would do, I’m completely fine with it. I actually encourage it. If you need advice about something you should call the person who has successfully gone through it. No one in history has gotten more out of young (and also trash) teammates as LeBron, and if Kyrie calls him to find out how, that only helps the green, and that’s what “the guy” is supposed to do. At all costs.