Former Bulls Guard Ron Harper on Kyrie Situation: ‘Trade Him To The Sorriest Team’
Former Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ron Harper recently admitted that he was “a little surprised, a little shocked, and kind of saddened” when he heard the news of Kyrie Irving requesting a trade because he was tired of being in the shadow of LeBron James.
Harper, who won five championships in his 15 years in the NBA, stated there isn’t a guarantee he’s going to get traded to a good team. He also said he would like to see the league go back to what teams did back in the 90’s —trading players who requested it to the bottom tier teams in the NBA.
“It’s not a guarantee that the Cavaliers are going to trade him to a good team,” Harper said. “I asked a guy, ‘What happened to the old-school days?’ When a guy asked to get traded, you traded him to the sorriest team. That’s the way it worked.”
Harper then chalked Kyrie Irving’s decision to leave to him being young and dumb.
“When I used to play on bad teams and you trained all off-season to play 82 games, you get to the first round and you lose. You’re guaranteed to play till June. The East is good, but you know that you’re the best basketball team,” Harper said. “I don’t really understand what’s behind it.
“Young. Youth. Kids … listen, the inmates are in charge. So when the inmates are in charge, nothing but bad things can happen, right?”
“It’s always going to be a two- or three-star team,” Harper said of Irving and the Cavs. “You’re never going to be a guy who carries your team. You see when LeBron doesn’t play, you don’t carry the team.”
“It’s never your team. You play for the front of your jersey, your name is on the back of it,” he said. “When you get a chance to win and a chance to be on a good basketball team, you have to take that opportunity. That opportunity doesn’t come around all the time.
“You’re on a team that’s been to the NBA Finals the last three seasons. How many guys get there? How many guys would kill to be him? If you go talk to most superstars that quote ‘had their own team’ that don’t get to the playoffs, ask them how they feel.”
“I think LeBron is more mature. LeBron just wants to win, he wants to be on a good team. I don’t think he will hold any ill will towards him,” Harper said. “And the only way you win is by having good teammates. You can repair anything if you talk. If you don’t talk, then it’s hard. If they communicate, it would be OK.”