Recapping former Cavs star Kyrie Irving’s controversial podcast appearance

Brooklyn Nets stars Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets stars Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers made their share of headlines in the Kyrie Irving days, and he was on-brand in that way recently.

The last time Kyrie Irving spoke directly with the media was after his shoulder injury in March. Irving skipped league mandated injury update interviews and besides some bubble disagreement reports, hasn’t been heard from. Thursday, Irving broke his silence and appeared on the first episode of Kevin Durant’s Podcast The ETCs with KD, via The Boardroom.

No surprise to anyone, Irving couldn’t help but leave headline-grabbing quotes. Over two hours Irving covered everything from his youth in basketball to the Brooklyn Nets’ future. Everything in between left fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, LeBron James, basketball, and the NBA with a lot to discuss.

When Irving demanded a trade in 2017, it was clear he wanted out of LeBron’s shadow. It was tough to watch a beloved Cavalier leave disgruntled, but his decision made some sense, seemingly given trade rumors. What hurts for many Cavs fans is hearing Irving gush about playing with a star years after demanding to leave one.

“It takes miles off your body as well, playing with other great players and great people,” Irving said, talking about today’s new journey for an NBA star. “It’s just such an easier style of basketball,” Irving added, referring to playing with another star.

Irving continued claiming he was excited to learn at age 28 from an older brother figure in 32-year-old Kevin Durant. The two will play together for the first time after building a relaiton ship over many years through Nike, competition, and admiration for each others game.

Eventually the conversation found Irving giving the quote of the day.

"“This is the first time in my career where I could look down and be like, ‘that mother**ker can make that shot too.'”"

Immediate reaction from NBA twitter was that this quote was disrespectful towards LeBron James when looking back on their years as teammates.

As a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, there’s a natural parallel that comes to mind, too.

Can the King not score like Kyrie? Is he saying KD is better than LeBron James? Is Kyrie still that petty?Irving cleared up the quote later via Instagram video, as h/t Bleacher Report.

Many believe LeBron fired back with his comment during Finals media day seemingly in regards to those Cleveland Cavaliers days, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, about how the key to his relationship with Anthony Davis is that they’re “not jealous of one another.”

At this point, hour 1 isn’t done. When talking about the 2016 NBA Finals Game 7, Irving described his mental state after the win, when he hit arguably the best shot in Finals history, of which KJG’s Dan Gilinsky made his case for.

“Honestly I was so angry after that game man. I wasn’t so angry at the win or celebration, I had just had to go into a place where I was spiritual animal,” he said, talking about isolating himself from the world to be in perfect basketball shape for the NBA Finals.

"“My dad asked, ‘what’s wrong?’ And I answered, ‘there’s no more games?, Two days later I was playing pickup.”’"

This is an interesting story considering Irving had claimed basketball is “just a sport,” earlier that day.

Hour 2 chronicled Kobe Bryant, Team USA, and Durant teammate stories that are worth the listen. Just when you think you’ve heard enough though, Kyrie ends with his thoughts on incoming Nets head coach Steve Nash.

"“I don’t really see us as having a ‘head’ coach. KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach (some days).”"

Irving said as Durant added that Jacque Vaughn could be the head coach one day and from there, said they don’t need a coach to come there and “change up the wheels.”

The first Kyrie Irving interview in months was loaded with headline material, especially as a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. Hearing from Irving is as informative as much as it is confusing. The coaching comment shed light on failures to work with Brad Stevens and Kenny Atkinson.

Irving is clearly excited to team up with a player he sees as a brother. Thus, the gushing over pressure relief, learning chances and “Motherf**ker” comments. Is that not what LeBron was though?

Maybe Irving learned that too late. Why did he seek a mentorship from Kobe when he had LeBron?Most of all, can Kyrie ever be satisfied with his basketball situation if a Game 7 winner in the Finals wasn’t enough?

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Two hours with Kyrie Irving may leave any fan wondering “what did he just say?” for good reason, and us Cleveland Cavaliers fans even more so.