Kyrie's Smart To Want Out Of Cleveland
Sports |  Source: L. Smith,

Kyrie's Smart To Want Out Of Cleveland

The window of opportunity is closing on the Cavs.

Kyrie Irving's apparent discontent with the Cleveland Cavaliers sent shockwaves across the NBA landscape. The 25-year old phenom has already won an NBA championship and happens to play alongside the best player in the world. Despite this, Kyrie has demanded a trade from the Cavs and isn't satisfied playing with LeBron James anymore. LeBron, like most, was taken aback by these comments. Kyrie has expressed interest in Minnesota, New York, San Antonio and Miami.

While some might criticize Kyrie and call him delusional, that is not the case. Kyrie was becoming extremely unhappy with the organization. The turbulent regular season and unfortunate ending to the NBA finals left him frustrated. The way Cleveland handled things throughout this offseason put a cap on it.

The Cavs were in need of another star player if they wanted to compete with Golden State next season. Instead, owner Dan Gilbert decided to fire general manager David Griffin at the most crucial time. This did not stop their pursuit for another all-star. The Cavs had actually agreed to a three team trade that would've sent superstar Paul George to Cleveland, Kevin Love to the Nuggets and Gary Harris along with a few other assets to Indiana. However, the Indiana Pacers GM jumped ship at the last second. Cleveland is now left with a dysfunctional front office and has nothing to show for in free agency. This has Kyrie infuriated.

Something else that is probably weighing on Kyrie's mind is LeBron's impending free agency decision. LeBron has one year left on his contract and all signs are indicating towards another departure from Cleveland. Kyrie definitely doesn't want to linger around for that to happen again. More importantly, Irving is tired of playing with LeBron. He desperately wants to be the focal point of a franchise destined for a championship run. While in Cleveland, the limelight will always be on LeBron James because he is at the center of the basketball world. Kyrie hit one of the most clutch shots in NBA history to win the finals, and it will mainly be LeBron who is credited as the one who brought a championship back to Cleveland. That's not who Kyrie wants to be remembered as. He doesn't want to be looked upon as a sidekick. Kyrie is determined to make a name for himself in another city, and he'd be smart to do so before Cleveland potentially crumbles again next offseason.

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NBA Fans Have Already Won

The 2016 Finals rematch will be historic one way or another.

Ahhhh, things are finally back to normal.

After the Oklahoma City Thunder and their freakishly athletic seven-footers threatened to bounce the greatest regular season team in NBA history, order has finally been restored. The Golden State Warriors, behind an incredible game six performance from Klay Thompson and a long-awaited return to form in game seven, are going back to the NBA Finals in search of their second consecutive NBA Championship and, dare I say it, immortality.

The only thing standing in their way is a Cavaliers team led by a 6-foot-8, 250 pound athletic freak of nature who was specifically put on this earth to dominate basketball and simultaneously cause all of our jaws to drop to the floor while he does it.

Of course, I'm talking about LeBron James. Now, it's no secret that I looooooove LeBron (check out this article), and it goes without saying that I really want Cleveland to finally take the Larry O'Brien trophy home.

But when I really think about, I'd be fine with any result, because either way, we'll witness one of the greatest moments in NBA history.

And here's why.

Warriors Win
Well, there you have it, plain and simple: we've just witnessed the greatest season in the history of the NBA.

Steph Curry lit the league up for 402 three pointers, including the following one, which is one of the most incredible, improbable, and simply mind-blowing shots in NBA history.


The Warriors set the mark for most wins in an NBA season, with a record of 73-9.

Double wow.

And to top it all of, they became just the tenth team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the playoffs, even after getting blown off the court two games in a row.

Triple... No quadruple... no... forget it:

WOW TO THE INFINITY! (Second grade me would be so proud right now)

So while Scottie Pippen and plenty of other NBA veterans stand there and whine about the Warriors being bad for basketball, we can just sit there and laugh (until they get angry... then we run).

We just witnessed the greatest team in NBA history.

Cavaliers Win
Here's something that might surprise you: I think LeBron James is the best player in NBA history.

Now hold on just a second: While I do adamantly believe that, I am more than accepting of people who go with the common notion that Michael Jordan is the best.

But given the fact that I only vaguely remember the Wizards version of MJ (and by vaguely, I mean hardly at all... I was seven when he played his last game with them), I stick with LeBron. I've actually seen his entire career, and can remember almost everything about it.

And it's been amazing.

And moreover, I'm sure the Jordan-era was the same way, but I wouldn't know: I guess you just had to be there.

However, if LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are able to vanquish the mighty Warriors, I'll no longer budge:

LeBron is the best player ever. Period.

Because, while Jordan was an otherworldly player, a fierce competitor, and just a nightmare for NBA teams in the finals, he was rarely the following:

A substantial underdog.

And Even though LeBron is now flanked with the final components of his "big three" in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the odds are still at pretty much the same spot they were last season, sitting at +180 for a Cavs victory.

Everybody believes in the Warriors. Well, not literally everybody, but almost everybody. Check out this article from Sports Illustrated.

So now, facing the greatest team in regular season history, who just happen to be coming off of three straight wins in the Western Conference finals, the Chosen One, the hometown hero, the one and only LeBron James, is tasked with putting his team on his back, elevating his game to a level we've never seen before, and finally bringing a championship to Cleveland.

And if he does just that, break out the crying Jordan memes:

We just witnessed the greatest player of all time in the defining moment of his storied career.

So stop talking about conspiracies and just watch:

History is about to be made. We just don't know who's going to make it.

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TYBG: The Cavaliers Just Saved The NBA Finals

Now we have a series on our hands.

If you followed the first two games of the NBA Finals, you were probably feeling one of three ways:

1. Happy as hell, because you're a Warriors fan, and the Dubs looked impenetrable.
2. Tremendously sad, because you're a Cavaliers fan, and they looked helpless.
3. Supremely disappointing, because, oh no, this series sucks!

Well, no matter how you were feeling, Game 3 likely changed your perspective.

The Cavs took each they did wrong in the first two games of the series (read: EVERYTHING) and reversed it to top the Warriors, 120-90, Wednesday night.

After two truly brutal games in the Bay Area, Kyrie Irving came out ready to play. He scored 16 points in the first quarter, including doing this to Steph Curry:

J.R. Smith did the same, knocking down five threes and putting up 20 points after scoring eight total points on the West Coast.

And Tristan Thompson, who shot a disappointing 42 percent from the field in the Cavaliers' first two losses, knocked down five of six shots while grabbing 13 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Cavs' defense limited the Warriors to fewer than 100 points, which, between the regular season and postseason, had only happened 10 times this year. It feels silly to say keeping a team under 100 points is a noteworthy feat, but really, to keep Steph Curry & Co. below the century mark -- in the NBA Finals, no less -- is fairly impressive.

Perhaps most impressive, though, was the way Cleveland started each half: as a team. They scored the first nine points of the game, at one point jumping out to a 30-10 lead. And after the Warriors cut the margin to single digits by halftime, the Cavs began the second half with seven straight points, which led to a 22-point lead midway through the third quarter.

Where this version of Cleveland was in the first two games, we may never know. But one thing is clear: Ty Lue and LeBron James launched an archeological dig and unearthed the Cavaliers we remembered from the first three rounds of the playoffs, and in the process finally made the NBA Finals competitive -- if only for just one night.

And LeBron capped off the night with one of the more ridiculous things he's done in quite some time, which is saying a lot.


How do you feel about all the questions about your team now, LeBron?

Thought so.

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Cavs Overcome Sleeves to Extend Series

Their jerseys were ugly, but their game wasn't.

No excuse needed tonight as the Cavaliers come out on top to force a game 6. Cleveland overcame questionable jerseys, a Klay Thompson barrage, and an oscar worthy performance from Anderson Varejao. All it took was a little of this

And a little of that

Last night, two superstars saved their own season in grand fashion. LeBron and Kyrie each scored 41 points, becoming the only teammates in NBA history to each score 40 in a Finals game. Those 82 points came on 61 percent shooting in a clinic on efficiency. E

ven if these beautiful numbers are set aside, haters are going to have a difficult time undermining the King and Uncle Drew. Quintessential Lebron returned in dramatic fashion. He was active on defense chasing down fast breaks for highlight blocks. The most pleasant surprise for Cleveland fans was the return of LeBron's jumper. If it decides to stick around this series may actually go to seven games.

Kyrie was with LeBron step for step. While he didn't showcase the Akron Hammer's two-way dominance, his offense was its own side show. Irving's footwork could've been misconstrued for that of an Olympic speed skater the way he slashed into the lane. He also provided LeBron with a viable catch and shoot option.

After Golden state lost Andrew Bogut, their most effective rim protector, to injury, Kyrie imposed his will in the paint without fear of repercussion. Draymond Green's convenient punishment has been served which should assuage the loss of Bogut for Game 6. The suspension of Green will be missed, as it brought out an impressive raw fanaticism from Dub fans.

Bandwagoners for Golden State are still pretty secure with the Dubs up 3-2 in the series. Cleveland can't expect once in a lifetime games from both James and Irving over the final two games. Someone else from the Cavs needs to step up. The obvious option is Kevin Love, but he appears mired in his own struggles. Until he escapes the muck or gets traded to Boston, he may want to avoid googling his own name. It's safe money to assume that when this finals ends Lebron won't be the only individual scapegoating Love.

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I Like Kyrie Irving, Just Not as a Point Guard

He's too proficient of a scorer to have that label.

For the first time this season at Oracle Arena, Warrior fans got to see a Carolina point guard get hot and go off for 40 points, and his name was not Stephen Curry. With their backs against the wall, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both scored 41 points to extend the series to one more game. Irving shot 17-24 from the field and 5-7 from beyond the arc, compared to Steph Curry's performance of 8-21 from the field and 5-14 from the three-point line.

Irving's performance, not only Monday night, but throughout the series, illustrates how talented of a scorer he really is in the NBA. Along with Curry, Damien Lillard, and Russell Westbrook, the Duke product makes up the fourth member of the NBA's Mount Rushmore for scoring point guards. However, being that they are in fact point guards with a job to control the offense for their teams, being a member on this mountain and a productive NBA player is hard to balance.

Charles Barkley puts it the best when he says the Portland Trailblazers put up the toughest and worst shots in the NBA, and the Oklahoma City Thunder isn't far behind. Despite their obvious talents with the ball in their hands, Lillard's shooting percentage was an average .419 percent from the field, and Russell Westbrook averaged the worst turnovers per game and three-point percentage (.296) for a point guard.

Of course, Curry's stats this season were from another planet. Irving's stat line took a hit compared to last season, netting him a lower shooting percentage from the field and three-point line. To be fair, Irving missed about a third of the season recovering from the knee injury that took him out of last year's Finals.

The two players have the ability to be their team's leading scorer and the top teams in their Conference. No doubt, the main reason why they work where Westbrook and Lillard don't is that they do not have to be their teams' distributors on offense.

With LeBron James in Cleveland, and Draymond Green in Golden State playing a de-facto point guard position, the two actual players can play as unofficial shooting guards on the court. Without any player willing or able to play as a distributor, Lillard and Westbrook have a choice between limiting their skills for the good of their team's offense, or illuminating their abilities and disrupting any offensive consistency for their teams.

Despite the criticism that this version of the Big Three gets, Kyrie Irving is the perfect partner to LeBron. LeBron has a player that can be a better offensive player than himself, and Irving can now look for his shot without having to worry about distributing the ball for the rest of the team.

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Kyle Lowry Looks Destined To Play For The...

One potential landing spot stands out above the rest.

With the Toronto Raptors having just been swept out of the NBA playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, point guard Kyle Lowry, 31, made it known that he will be opting out of his contract to become a free agent this summer. What does this mean for his future in the NBA?

Shortly after the announcement, Lowry made his free agency goal quite clear.

"A ring. Nothing else. I just want a ring."

There are plenty of point guard-needy teams in the Eastern Conference which Lowry would fit in perfectly playing for. But, just like it has for the past seven seasons, the Eastern Conference runs through LeBron James, who hasn't missed getting to the NBA Finals since 2010.

Lowry knows that, as his Raptors have been eliminated by the Cavs in the playoffs for two straight seasons now. Since the Cavs aren't in need of a point guard with All-Star Kyrie Irving in that role, the only thing that makes sense would be for Lowry to go to the Western Conference.

The Golden State Warriors would be Lowry's best chance at a ring. They are once again at the top of the Western Conference for the third straight season. However, with two-time defending MVP Stephen Curry running the point, they have absolutely no need for Lowry's services. Another really good team, however, could put those services to good use.

The San Antonio Spurs finished with the second-best record in the NBA for the second consecutive season, trailing only the Warriors. Their weakness from an overall production standpoint is their guard-play. Starting point guard Tony Parker and starting shooting guard Danny Green combined, yes combined, to average just 17. 4 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game this past season. An improvement to those statistics could elevate the Spurs to the top of the NBA.

The man that could deliver that improvement at a relatively cheap price is now readily available.

Lowry averaged 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game on his own last season. Adding him would be a huge upgrade to a Spurs team that is already the second-best team in the Western Conference, and it would give them an even better chance to make a run at the Warriors for the top spot.

This addition would benefit their team as a whole, as it would pair Lowry with Kawhi Leonard, arguably the NBA's best all-around offensive and defensive player, creating one of the best point guard/small forward combinations in the league. This would give Lowry the best chance by far that he has ever had to win an NBA championship and get the ring he so desperately desires.

With free agency ahead of him this summer, the best team for Lowry to play for if he wants to start at point guard and contend for an NBA championship is the San Antonio Spurs. While we know with almost 100 percent certainty that he will be at least coming south of the Canada/U.S. border, the most likely scenario is that he'll end up all the way down in southern Texas close to the U.S./Mexico border.