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#pounditThursday, October 1, 2020

LeBron James on Kyrie Irving trade: I was ready to give him the keys

All indications are that LeBron James was legitimately blindsided by Kyrie Irving’s decision to force his way out of Cleveland, and some thoughts that James shared on Monday all but confirmed that.

When asked about Irving requesting a trade, LeBron told reporters he made an effort to understand what it was exactly that had made the star point guard unhappy. He also said he was ready to give Irving the “keys.”

“I tried to give him everything and as much of the DNA as I could,” James said. “At some point, when he was ready to take over the keys, I was ready to give them to him. The only thing I’m upset about is that he took a lot of the DNA and blueprints to Boston. … I tried to do everything I could to help the kid be as great as he could be or as great as he wanted to be.”

LeBron gave Irving plenty of advice during the three years they played together, but James said that line of communication stops now.

“I don’t have any advice for him now. I got no advice for him or any other people on any other team,” LeBron said with a smile. “We’re trying to win a championship. I don’t have time to give advice to other guys. You’re either with us or against us.”

Irving has not denied that wanting to get away from LeBron was his primary motivation for demanding a trade, and he said all the right things when talking about the relationship between the two players. To their credit, both Irving and James have managed to keep a lid on whatever drama it was they may have been dealing with.

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