Bless the NBA offseason.
Seriously, it’s awesome. It can be dull at points, but relative to other professional sports, we’re treated to a steady, if inundating, stream of amazing. Among the latest: Kyrie Irving appearing on ESPN’s First Take and saying everything without saying anything on the topic of LeBron James.
Stephen A. Smith asked the Boston Celtics point guard why he didn’t tell James about his trade request. And his response was epic:
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 18, 2017
For the video-impaired:
Kyrie: Why would I have to?
Stephen A.: If you don’t speak to somebody about it they might take it personally.
I mean, wow.
Irving doesn’t actually owe James anything. Superstars leave or request to leave without officially informing their teammates. LeBron himself didn’t tell Dwyane Wade, directly, before he made the decision to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant didn’t have a sit-down with Russell Westbrook about leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder. You don’t hear Blake Griffin about how Chris Paul came to him before orchestrating a move to the Houston Rockets. The act of silence itself isn’t necessary news.
The indifference with which Irving approaches the question kind of is, though. Maybe he’s just exhausted from all these questions, which is fair. But this would have been his opportunity to dispel that notion he left Cleveland in large part because of LeBron. And given his demeanor, he didn’t botch this; he simply couldn’t speak to something else, because it wasn’t the truth.
More to this story exists. It has to. A 19-second clip doesn’t reveal everything. But, this time, dammit if it didn’t reveal something.