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#pounditThursday, March 30, 2023

Ex-Kyrie Irving teammate has interesting comments amid Irving’s trade request

Kyrie Irving giving an interview

One former Kyrie Irving teammate wants to get the band back together.

Appearing Friday on “SportsCenter,” new ESPN analyst Tristan Thompson revealed that he texted the Brooklyn Nets guard Irving about a possible Cleveland Cavaliers teammate reunion (a message Irving acknowledged).

“He put a heart emoji [reaction], so I know he read it,” said Thompson of Irving. “We all said it before. Obviously, whatever happened in Cleveland happened. But the band broke up a couple years too early. Let’s get it back together. This is what we need.”

For Irving, who requested a trade from the Nets this week after extension talks broke down, the reunion would not be in Cleveland but in Los Angeles. Irving’s former Cavs co-star LeBron James now plays for the Lakers (where ex-Cleveland assistant and longtime Irving confidant Phil Handy is also on the coaching staff). James appears to be very open to a reunion with Irving as well, at least based off what he tweeted on Friday.

Thompson was teammates with Irving on the Cavs for seven seasons, and they won the NBA title together in 2016. The two also entered the league at the same time as Cleveland’s two lottery picks in 2011 and were close with one another before James even came into the picture. As such, Thompson probably has a pretty good idea of what Irving is thinking here.

Of course, it won’t be as easy as Irving just going to the Lakers (at least for this season). The Lakers will have to put together a palatable trade package for Brooklyn and fight off several other teams who are themselves targeting the eight-time All-Star Irving (some of whom are closer to contention).


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