The Real Reason Kyrie Irving Wants a Trade [Editorial]

Updated: July 27, 2017

By now it is not a secret that Cavs PG Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the Cavs. It is no secret that Kyrie and Lebron aren’t best friends, but the trade request is still a bit sudden. From the outside looking in it seems as if there is no better basketball situation for Kyrie so why in the world does he want to leave?

Well, I have a theory.

Kyrie wants the “street cred” from the casual basketball fan.

I don’t care what you say. There is really no other reason. He isn’t going to a better basketball team than anyone with Lebron on it. He isn’t going to come out of the West if he isn’t on the Warriors. He might miss the playoffs if he goes to a Carmelo-less Knicks.

So why leave?

If Kyrie leaves he can become Russell Westbrook 2016. Kobe Bryant in 2004. Tracy McGrady. Damien Lillard. And the list goes on.

With his own squad Kyrie Irving instantly becomes a lone stat padder who will fill SC Top 10’s and be the topic of “what if” conversations for hours on end. Let’s just ignore the fact that Lebron already defers to him and he shoots more shots than everyone except Westbrook in the entire league. With his own squad Kyrie’s basketball brand instantly steps out of the Lebron shadow. Kyrie becomes the guy Kobe stans follow and tweet fantasy arguments that’s he’s better than Jordan, Magic, Bird, Lebron, etc.

Kyrie knows this. He senses the Kobe-esque love Russell Westbrook gets. He knows stats nerds are going to push his brand to the moon. This is the same guy who dates starlets, hangs out with Justin Bieber and trolls on snapchat.

I’m not saying Kyrie isn’t concerned with winning. I’m just concluding that he wants to do it HIS way. He wants to push himself to be THE guy. Not THE guy on the Timberwolves or Bucks, not THE guy in the Western Conference, but THE guy in the basketball culture.

It isn’t exciting winning Eastern Conferences and NBA Finals with Lebron leading the team crafting triple doubles, just as it wasn’t exciting when Shaq was backing down 40 points and fouling out two to three players in the process. That doesn’t matter.

You know what’s exciting? Engineering triple doubles and shooting more than everyone in professional basketball like Russell Westbrook. Scoring 81 points in a single game and struggling to drag Kwame Brown to the playoffs like Kobe Bryant. Lighting up the Warriors for 50+ points with no chance of beating them in a 7 game series like Dame Lillard.

Kyrie might just get what he wishes but at what expense? Will he forgo a potential second or third championship with Lebron? Will he ever make the playoffs again? It seems like to Kyrie that doesn’t matter.

He’s here to become THE guy and that’s all that matters.