Former Cavs GM David Griffin Defends Kyrie Irving, Explains Why He Wants to Be Traded
Kyrie Irving has been taking a lot of heat ever since news got out that he asked the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him. Fans say he’s disloyal. Players say he’s crazy. Bloggers are reminding everyone that he still thinks the earth is flat. (He really does you guys!)
Interestingly, one person who’s not piling it on Irving is former Cavaliers GM David Griffin.
Griffin knows Kyrie as well, if not better, than anybody in basketball. He’s the one who signed him to his current five-year contract in 2014. On Monday he made an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” podcast and provided a pretty compelling defense of the soon-to-be former Cavaliers point guard.
“This is a guy who handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to,” Griffin argued. “He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him he would be happier somewhere elsewhere.
“The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in, and sink the ship from within. Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did. That’s not youth and ignorance. That’s a little bit more courage than what people gave him credit for.”
Griffin makes a good point. Despite being unhappy with his role on the team, Irving didn’t let it show. That’s why everybody was so shocked to learn he requested a trade. Some guys would have just quit on their teammates.
As for why Irving is unhappy, Griffin agrees with everything we’ve heard so far. However, he puts a more positive spin on it.
“[H]e was sold a totally different situation than he’s actually in…I see this as him looking for a fit for himself now to take the next step of his career.”
“This is a guy who wants to know how good he can be,” Griffin continues. “LeBron casts a very large shadow over an organization and most of it is really, really positive. You know you’re expected to win a championship.
“But what it doesn’t always allow is for a player like Kyrie to test his boundaries and see how good he can really be, and, ‘Can I actually be the front man for a team like that?'”
When you put it like that, this whole thing almost makes sense.
It’s a shame Irving didn’t step up and put his own spin on the story from the start. If he had, it might not have gotten so big.
Hat Tip – [theScore]