Kyrie Irving has received some heat for wanting out of his seemingly kushy situation in Cleveland to explore other options without the game’s best player. Among the detractors is former Cavaliers point guard Ron Harper, who recently blamed “youth” and “ignorance” for Irving’s trade request.
But, former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, thinks the four-time NBA All-Star has handled his situation to date with eloquence and class. According to a July ESPN report, Griffin was aware of Irving’s occasional frustrations with his role on the Cavs and talked to him frequently about his gripes.
Griffin appeared on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Monday and explained that Irving would have done more harm than good by pretending everything was copacetic.
“This is a guy who handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to,” Griffin said. “He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him he would be happier somewhere elsewhere.
“The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in, and sink the ship from within. Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did. That’s not youth and ignorance. That’s a little bit more courage than what people gave him credit for.”
“This is a guy who wants to know how good he can be,” Griffin said. “LeBron casts a very large shadow over an organization and most of it is really, really positive. You know you’re expected to win a championship.
“But what it doesn’t always allow is for a player like Kyrie to test his boundaries and see how good he can really be, and, ‘Can I actually be the front man for a team like that?'”
Griffin added: “He just wanted to put himself in a position, I think, where to find out exactly what he has as a 25-year-old entering his prime.”
From an outsiders perspective, it’s easy to swipe Irving for wanting to emerge from a team that has been to the Finals the past three years, but he has earned the right to seek to be the face of a franchise. LeBron, above all, should understand.
[h/t Business Insider]