VIDEO: Kyrie Irving says he's not leaving like LeBron James did
Cavaliers guard takes guilt-trippy question at community service event,
Update: The vid's like two years old! Say hi to the internet, where one person posts something and we all think it's new.
Kyrie Irving recently had a community service appearance where he took questions from a group of Cleveland-area kids.
One kid had the stones to ask "Are you going to leave us like LeBron (James) left us?"
Irving gave the answer all Ohioans want to hear.
Jeez, kid. What are you, his mother, with laying on the guilt that thick? "Hey, no pressure, just wanting to know if you're going to completely destroy my innocent sports fandom again after LeBron (who Kyrie's friends with, by the way) made me cry for seventeen hours. Asking for a friend. And by a friend I mean my Dad. Who also cried."
Irving has a team option for the 2014-15 season (pro tip: they're going to pick it up). Then he's scheduled to be a restricted free agent with a $9 million qualifying offer for 2015-16. But like I've stated many, many times before, elite players don't leave off their rookie deals. The Cavaliers will use their five-year "designated player" extension on him, and should he finish in the All-NBA voting this year and next (or be named an All-Star starter), he'll be line for the 30 percent raise under the "Derrick Rose" stipulation.
Bottom line, he's not going anywhere for another six years.
After that, no one will remember this conversation, except for that kid. Irving's heart is in the right place, especially after skipping Fan Appreciation Night last season and having a generally sour attitude about how things went down last year. (It was a frustrating season for multiple reasons -- including injury -- for Irving.) It's good that he's reassuring the kids, the fans. But really, what's he going to say?
"Yes, Cindy Lou Who, I am stealing Christmas. Deal with it!"
But if you want to take an athlete at his word, Irving's not following James' path. And hey, with LeBron's 2014 free-agency option ... nevermind. We're not there.
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