Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving hasn’t played since in an NBA game since being suspended by the team for off-court issues that began when when he promoted an anti-Semitic film on his personal Twitter page.
At the moment, it appears that Irving is working with Nets decision-makers to get back onto the court.
the floor I think is excessive IMO. He’s not the person that’s being portrayed of him. Anyways back to my rehab session.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 10, 2022
According to a recent report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe, James coming to Irving’s defense could be a signal that he still wants the Lakers to acquire the polarizing star.
“Look, I don’t know why LeBron said what he said about Kyrie yesterday,” he said. “About how it’s time to bring him back in the league.
“Maybe he just said it because he believes and there’s nothing else to it. I can tell you around the league and even within the Lakers, some corners of it, those comments were read as LeBron opening the door to…at least opening the door to, ‘Hey, if you all are comfortable with it and all the blowback it would be, and the Nets are willing to just get out of the business now of Kyrie Irving so we can get him for much cheaper, not both picks, maybe one pick.'”
Obviously, Irving would be an incredible addition to the Lakers on the court. He is still considered to be one of the most highly skilled players in the NBA.
Prior to his suspension, he was having a strong season from a statistical standpoint.
So far this season, he’s averaging 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Though he is shooting a rather dismal 28.0 percent from the 3-point line, that number should move closer to his 39.1 career percentage in the event that he does ultimately return from his current suspension.
Beyond that, Irving and James have a long history together. They played together for three seasons as members of the Cleveland Cavaliers, advancing to three NBA Finals series together and winning one championship.
Of course, if James truly wants Irving to join him in L.A., he must believe that they have a chance of repeating as champions as teammates.
However, there is always the risk that Irving could come to L.A. and bring endless distractions. Even before this latest incident, Irving had gained a reputation to be quite the distraction off the court.
It’s really hard to know what the future holds for Irving. It he does somehow end up on the Lakers, it will definitely be one of the biggest stories of the 2022-23 NBA season.
James coming to his defense certainly seems to indicate that while it may be a long shot, it is not out of the realm of possibility.