LeBron James began to have serious doubts about the Cavs’ chances in 2017-18 last summer when Cleveland traded away All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston, despite King James imploring the team’s front-office not to do so.
James says the franchise shouldn’t have so easily capitulated to Irving’s trade request.
At one point during what he has called the most challenging season of his 15-year career, LeBron even questioned whether the Cavs would make the playoffs.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) May 31, 2018
“It was at points where, ‘OK, will the Cavs even make the playoffs?'” James told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Wednesday in an exclusive interview. “And I was like, ‘OK, I am not settling for that conversation. Now that is just ridiculous. Now I have got to get into the postseason.'”
It has been widely reported that James was against the Cavs’ decision to acquiesce to Kyrie Irving’s trade request. For the first time publicly, James told Nichols that he did call management to ask them not to trade Irving.
“Even if you start back to the summertime where I felt like it was just bad for our franchise just to be able to trade away our superstar point guard,” James said. “A guy that I had been in so many battles with over the last three years, and obviously I wasn’t a part of the communications and know exactly what went on between the two sides. But I just felt like it was bad timing for our team.”
“So I felt like the odds were against us from the summer,” James continued. “And then you know we come into the season, and our All-Star point guard that we got from Boston [Isaiah Thomas] wasn’t able to play until January. We just had so many things going with our team. We shuffled in different lineups, we shuffled in different players, we made a trade at the deadline, and I can’t sit here right now and say that the Finals was a part of my thinking.”