With LeBron James back in the lineup Monday night (33 points on 14-of-22 shooting), the Cleveland Cavaliers regained their winning touch against the visiting Indiana Pacers in a 100-96 victory, and Kyrie Irving shot down rumors that he’s unhappy.
(The Cavs also announced that backup guard Mo Williams is out for a couple of weeks.)
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 29, 2016
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
“There’s nothing to really address,” Irving said. “Obviously there’s going to be some misunderstandings, it’s part of being on a team. For me, as a maturing young player in this league, I know what we have and the opportunity we have in order to be something special. My communication is open with all of my teammates, just knowing what’s going on and how I feel about things. For me, all that other stuff, what everyone is going to say, they’re going to pick one player, it’s going to change every single week. When they think that we’re down and out, they’re going to choose one player, so, for me it has no effect on my life or what’s going on. It’s all about winning and winning a championship for Cleveland.”
I don’t want to get too far down this rabbit hole. In all honesty, I haven’t heard the “Irving wants out” talk lately – certainly not as much as a few years ago. Irving can deny it as much as he wants or think the media is picking on him, but early in his career those close to him were talking about getting him out of here. That’s fact. Whether or not it’s still happening, I can’t say for certain. […] It hasn’t been a good few days in the Cavs’ locker room. It wasn’t a good road trip and some of the players were irritated with each other. That’s not entirely uncommon after losses and could be part of the “misunderstandings” to which Irving was referring. “Things get a little tough, our backs are against the wall, but it’s really not even adversity yet,” Irving said. “We haven’t even hit anything that’s going to be a test for us yet.”
I spoke to James last month about his process to get Irving to learn to share with others. James openly called him “hard-headed at times” so it seems fairly likely the two have probably clashed more times during their two years together than anyone on the outside really knows. That doesn’t necessarily mean he wants out, however. […] Being James’ teammate can be difficult. For as easy as he can make the game on the court, he can make it difficult, too. Some days he loves you and some days, well, he doesn’t. Just ask Timofey Mozgov. Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were famous for being hard on teammates, too.