By: Don Porcaro
Throughout his career, LeBron James has been known to get petty when things don’t particularly go his way. This has made him one of the most controversial athletes in the sport of basketball. Hated, just as much as he is loved, LeBron has always found a way to rub the haters the wrong way.
It started in 2011, when he decided Cleveland was not the best place for him. Whether it was because of lack of playmakers around him, or he just wanted a new city, he was not afraid to let the world know he did not want to be in Cleveland. In fact, he made his own show just to tell people how excited he was to be leaving the city. In the moment, a plethora of LeBron haters were born.
As expected, the latest off-season talk had to do with Kyrie wanting to leave the team. Whether Irving decided to leave because of an internal conflict or just because of a personal decision, both made it clear that they have completely moved on. Because it was his decision to move away from Cleveland, Kyrie went of ESPN’s First Take and explained why he decided to request a trade. While there was no clear cut answer, he made it evident he was thankful for everything he was able to accomplish in Cleveland with the help of LeBron.
However, there seems to be a different narrative with LeBron. James has said he wished he could have continued his success with Kyrie, although he did’t necessarily say Kyrie. Throughout the off-season, the only way he has referred to Kyrie, is “the kid”. Early when the trade was first completed, reporters hit James with continuous questions about Irving. The only difference was, James continuously just called him “The Kid”.
He continued that notion all the way up to only a couple hours ago in a pre-game interview with Rachel Nichols. Once again, James went out of his way to call Kyrie “The kid”. Even for some reason if he didn’t want to say his name, a simple “he” or “him” would have been fine. This obviously had a meaning behind it.
So why “The Kid”? Well first, why a nickname at all? If James was as confident as he says without the all-star point guard, he wouldn't even waste his time with him. Maybe LeBron should learn from the famous quote “Lion’s don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep”. Or, maybe James does see Kyrie as a real threat. In his whole career, James rarely went after anyone that has not been much of a threat to him. From these quotes, it seems James may see Kyrie as a real threat.
So what does it mean? Well, luckily i’ve taken enough English classes to easily figure this metaphor out. If “the kid” is Kyrie, then “the father” is LeBron. James is secretively saying that he was the reason for Kyrie’s success. A father teaches his son everything he knows. All the strengths and tricks Kyrie has up his sleeve, came from LeBron. Oh yeah, and that 2016 NBA Finals trophy? All LeBron’s. I’m sure there may be some pent up anger after hearing so many fans and reporters say that Kyrie won the finals with his clutch shot.
Another meaning could be the connection to immaturity. I’m sure LeBron didn't like the fact that Kyrie hadn't spoken to LeBron since asking for a trade. It’s almost like breaking up with someone over a text message…..except there wasn't even a text that was sent. LeBron’s opinion of this is probably that it was an immature thing to do, therefore the “kid” reference.
A third possible explantation could be to try and psych out Kyrie. With the NBA being the pettiest league in all of pro sports, this doesn't surprise me in the least bit. LeBron can be telling Kyrie he isn’t ready to take over a franchise. He’s still a kid and can not take on the challenges that being a leader takes. Many questioned if Kyrie was a true “number one” on a big 3. LeBron can be taking a shot at Irving’s lack of superstardom.
This is why so many people dislike LeBron. If he really isn’t going to give Kyrie any credit, that seems insane. in 2015, LeBron played without Kyrie and lost in 6 games. The next year, Kyrie is completely healthy and hits the game winning shot in the game 7. LeBron sure didn't win this by himself. If this is because LeBron doesn't think Kyrie can be a true leader of a team, game 1 of the 2017 season will sure tell a lot about the new Celtics and Cavs teams.
Photo: (St. Louis American)