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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Report: Kyrie Irving believes LeBron James leaked info about trade request

Kyrie Irving reportedly met with the Cleveland Cavaliers recently to request that they explore trade possibilities for him, but how did that information become public? Perhaps it was leaked by a certain superstar teammate who is upset about it.

In an appearance on ESPN over the weekend, Stephen A. Smith said he was told by sources that Irving’s people believe LeBron James is the one who leaked information about Irving’s meeting with the Cavs to the press.

“According to my sources, they believe LeBron James had everything to do with news getting out that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded, because Kyrie Irving and his representation and others met with the Cavaliers a couple weeks ago, and not a word got out until recently,” Smith said, as transcribed by Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk. “They believe that LeBron James got word of it and was put off by it and leaked it. I’m not going to accuse LeBron of such a thing. I don’t know that to be true at all. But I know that’s what Kyrie Irving believes.”

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, one of Smith’s colleagues, broke the original story about Irving wanting out of Cleveland. It’s worth noting that Windhorst has a good relationship with LeBron, and his report said James was “blindsided and disappointed” to learn of Irving’s trade request.

As Feldman notes, the Irving news leaking hurts the star point guard’s trade value, which would be bad for LeBron. That said, it is somewhat unusual that word of the meeting took two weeks to get out.

When you hear some of the details about why Irving wants to play elsewhere, you can understand why LeBron feels slighted. That doesn’t mean he would stoop low enough to leak information about his own team to the media, but you never know.

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