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LeBron James didn't want to trade Kyrie Irving

Rob Bradford
November 19, 2018 - 7:45 am

In a detailed feature about LeBron James' last few years in Cleveland, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports that the current Lakers star not only didn't want the Cavs to deal Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in the summer of 2017 but was told by Cavs general manager Koby Altman that no such deal would occur.

Vardon describes the call James had with Altman on Aug. 22, 2017, when the then-Cavs superstar was told by his GM that the Irving deal that Cleveland was discussing with the Celtics would not come to fruition. Shortly after the assurance, however, the trade was in fact made, with Irving going to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 first-round pick.

"Everyone knows that when Kyrie got traded it was the beginning of the end for everything. It’s not a secret," James told The Athletic.

The piece goes on to explain that Irving did, in fact, want out of Cleveland, even threatening to undergo knee surgery and miss a healthy chunk of the 2017-18 season if he wasn't dealt. James, then-Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue and other players reportedly were against doing the Boston deal in large part because of the uncertainty surrounding Thomas' injured hip. But, in the end, Dan Gilbert won out, with the Cavs owner clearly taking more of an active role in the roster-building process.

Wednesday, James returns to Cleveland for the first time since signing with the Lakers.

To read the entire story, click here.