LeBron James and Kyrie Irving played just three seasons together during their time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they were able to accomplish a lot during their time together.
It was a very exciting time to be an Ohio sports fan during that time period. The Ohio State Buckeyes would consistently be among the top contenders for the National Championship Game. But Ohio bettors who chose the Buckeyes for their NCAAF predictions were also picking James and Irving to lead the Cavs to the promised land.
LeBron and Kyrie with the Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron and Kyrie would dominate the Eastern Conference during those years, making the Finals for three consecutive seasons and winning one of them.
Their one championship win together was historic, as they became the first and only team to ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in NBA Finals history in 2016. Additionally, they did it against a Golden State Warriors team that finished an NBA-record 73-9 during the regular season.
LeBron unanimously won the Finals MVP that year, but Kyrie should’ve gotten more consideration as well, as he averaged over 27 points on nearly 47 percent shooting and made arguably the biggest shot in league history, as he hit a stepback 3-pointer in the face of Stephen Curry with a little over 50 seconds left in regulation in Game 7, which broke an 89-89 tie that lasted over three and a half minutes.
Still, it’s hard to deny LeBron a Finals MVP award when you consider the video game numbers he put up himself and changed the momentum of the game when he blocked Andre Iguodala from behind, erasing an easy layup opportunity on the break that would’ve given the Warriors the lead.
Their championship run will go down as one of the most memorable in sports history, but there was a lot more to their legacy as a duo than just that one championship.
They would break the internet with all their highlight-reel plays and big-time scoring explosions, as Kyrie would show off his crazy handles and layup packages while LeBron would just be the freak of nature we’ve all come to love when it came to driving down the lane.
However, Irving came to a point where he wanted to try and establish himself as a player outside of LeBron’s shadow, which led him to request a trade just a season after they won a championship together.
Irving got his wish and ended up on the Boston Celtics, but ever since that point in time, his career has faced a lot of trials and tribulations.
Irving has dealt with losing his grandfather, injuries, a vaccine mandate and other personal issues that have led him to miss an exorbitant amount of games.
Many thought him going home to the Brooklyn Nets to team up with his best friend Kevin Durant would light a new fire under him, and while we’ve seen some of the best scoring performances out of him in a Nets uniform, his time off the court and the distractions that have come with it have left little for the Nets organization to desire.
As things currently stand, they’re hesitant to offer him a long-term deal, which has led to speculation that he may leave Brooklyn.
Could LeBron and Kyrie Team Up Again?
The Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as a potential next destination for the superstar point guard, as they are desperately trying to keep their title window open with LeBron James still there.
However, all they can really offer him is a deal worth $6 million annually, which is over $30 million less than what the Nets can offer unless they find a way to offload Russell Westbrook or become willing to trade Anthony Davis.
Normally, a player of Irving’s caliber would not accept such a pay cut, but with him willing to lose $17 million for his decision to remain unvaccinated, money doesn’t seem to be the primary motivator for Irving.
With that said, Irving is likely to remain with the Nets. This is where he wanted to be, and he wouldn’t want to leave his best buddy Kevin Durant behind. But if Kyrie somehow ends up on the Lakers, they will once again be a threat to win a championship.