The Kyrie Irving and LeBron James relationship has always been professional on the surface. The Cavaliers' two stars always appeared able to coexist, and whatever issues arose were put aside for the ultimate goal of winning a championship.
But James' future beyond this season is in doubt, and Irving reportedly has requested a trade. Consequently, more details are surfacing regarding their relationship. According to an ESPN report, Irving wasn't always thrilled with how much James has controlled the ball. Even though he led the team in shots attempted, Irving wanted more control of the offense.
Much of Irving's disenchantment with James was rooted in game play, sources said. James, as a once-in-a-lifetime talent, controlled the ball more than any other forward perhaps in league history. Which means the ball was out of Irving's hands more than he preferred. That said, Irving led the Cavs in shots in the 2016-17 season, averaging 1.5 more per game than James, and Irving averaged a career-high 25.9 points. It was the first time in James' career he didn't lead his team in shots per game.
As a point guard, Irving understandably would want the ball in his hands. But James, while not a point guard, has been in control of the offense throughout his career. And this has reportedly created a conflict. The tension also could have its roots in the two stars' style of play. James is more of a distributor who creates for teammates first, while Irving's tendency is to look for his shot.