Culture of Hoops

Kyrie Irving weary of rumors about his future

Image courtesy of Erik Daniel Drost/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Erik Daniel Drost/Flickr.

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories on the web mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton

Rumors, by definition, are not factual. They are often based on incomplete information with an attempt to get as close to the truth as possible. It can be difficult to avoid using conjecture to make a story more juicy in this 24-hour news cycle that’s mashed together with social media trolls overreacting to the best headline. We see it happen all the time. Once a story gains momentum, true or false, it builds narrative. Narrative colors judgement. Judgements decided by the court of public opinion are hard to modify once the minds of the many have decided what they believe, often swayed most by what is heard first. That’s what makes the quotes by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst about Kyrie Irving’s future so intriguing.

Windhorst is a top notch journalist and NBA insider. When he speaks, people listen. During an interview with TrueHoop, Windhorst answered a question concerning the Cavs’ chances of signing Irving to a max contract extension.

The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired. This is the last time – once he signs he loses all of his leverage – so this is the last time he gets to enact leverage. I know he’s said all the right things so, fine, on July 1, when they offer a max contract – which they will – and I don’t even know if he’s a max player, but you have to sign him – sign a five year, no out. That’s what a max contract is. A max contract is five years, no out. If you want out or you want three years, that’s not a max contract. You want three years? Okay, we’ll give you $12 million a year. We’re not giving you the full thing.

I’m just giving you my feel right now and my feel is that he’s not crazy about [signing the full max extension] unless he gets everything checked off across the board.

And the other thing is: if the Cavs ever dream of having LeBron, it’s not going to be with Kyrie there. LeBron and Kyrie have drifted apart in the last few years, even to the point that if the Cavs wanted to get LeBron they would maybe trade Kyrie for someone who would fit better with LeBron. And I’m not making that up. That line of thinking was not originated by me. That’s just the truth.

Now, Kyrie has been very upset by this stuff but, whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, it exists out there and I’m just saying the way it is. I’m sure Cavs fans are upset about it. The Cavs are upset about it. When I’ve written about it, the Cavs have been like “Why does this stuff have to be written about us?” I say, “It has to be written about you because this could happen.”

Even the most mild-mannered person might be upset if they saw that written about his/herself. Irving was so appalled that he actually responded on Twitter.

Now it’s a he said, he said, because, you know, two dudes instead of … never mind.

The only definite answer to come from Irving’s mouth came after a kid asked him about free agency on the spot.


It’s normally best to take what the subject of a topic says as the truth until we get evidence otherwise. I appreciate and respect Windhorst’s insight on Irving’s future but this went far beyond the normal hot take of the day. Windhorst implicated Irving in getting former GM Chris Grant fired, and that Mike Brown might be next. He went on to say that Irving might not be a max contract player – now you are discussing Irving’s money. Probably not the fairest thing in the world to discuss when you are not an agent or front office official. Once that gets to the public, perception becomes reality and there could be a chorus of people saying that Irving does not deserve a max contract. That’s partially how the Minnesota Timberwolves got into the pickle they are in now with Kevin Love.

The only person who knows how Irving feels is the man himself. He could be lying to us when he speaks, but there’s no way to prove it.

What we do know is that God hates Cleveland. Natives of the city have even made coloring books about how depressing it is to be a Cleveland sports fan.

That’s a nice, fun fact to leave on, right? – AL

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