We’ll never really be free of him, will we?

Question: who is the target audience for this story:

LeBron James knows the Cleveland Cavaliers and the likely No. 1 pick in next month’s draft, Duke’s Kyrie Irving, and he feels they’ll be a good fit for each other.

The Cavs won the NBA’s draft lottery Tuesday night, putting the team in position to draft a franchise player to replace James a year after he left in free agency. James said he was glad the way it turned out.

“I’m happy for the franchise and happy for the fans,” James said after the Miami Heat’s shootaround Wednesday morning as they prepared for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Chicago Bulls. “I think it is a good step for them.”

James has known Irving for the last three years, as Irving has been a regular at James’ summer Nike camps. James, who also has a close relationship with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, feels that Irving can be an impact player.

“If the Cavs pick him it’ll be a great pick for them,” James said. “He’s a true point guard who can score, in this day and age in the NBA it is a point guards’ league. If they decided to take him, which it looks like, they’ll have a good one.”

Do Cavalier fans really care what LeBron thinks of their new drafting situation? Should Cavs fans care? I certainly don’t. So do other NBA fans want to know LeBron’s opinion on the Cavs draft? Do we care who ‘Melo thinks the Nuggets should pick? Deron Williams and Utah? No? Weird.

When the Cavs landed the top pick, Adrian Wojnarowski wrote how Iriving is the anti-LeBron and spurned CAA:

Had Irving been swayed to the flashy, aggressive pitch by CAA and LeBron’s marketing company, there could’ve been some salacious showdown. Lucky for Gilbert, the pitch fell flat on the Irving family, and substance over sizzle ruled the day. Irving chose an agent, Jeff Wechsler, who hadn’t bothered to recruit Irving at all. Lucky for Gilbert, Irving isn’t entangled in an awkward web of the Cavaliers’ yesterday and tomorrow.

To say there’s nothing but ill-will and downright loathing between Gilbert and LeBron’s associates doesn’t begin to cover the territory. Yet now, Kyrie Irving walks into the Cavaliers with no baggage, no connection to the heartbreak of LeBron James’ departure.

So rest easy, Cavs fans Kyrie Irving turned down LeBron’s marketing group. It’s a fresh, clean start:

No, contrary to recent reports, Irving was never close to signing with LRMR, nor the agency (Creative Artists Agency) that represents James.

But Irving is thrilled to call James a friend and doesn’t believe it will cause an awkward dilemma in Cleveland, despite the fact the Cavs hold the No. 1 pick in next month’s draft and Irving is tops on their wish list.

So Irving says LeBron’s a friend and a big brother?

But he also has gotten plenty of advice from LeBron James. Irving has attended James’ camps twice, and the two have been friends for at least the past three years.

“He’s definitely filled a big brother role in my life, just giving me advice, and when I was definitely going through the three-month stretch when I got hurt he was definitely talking to me every single week, telling me to keep my faith,” Irving said Thursday at the NBA combine here, where he is skipping workouts and taking part only in interviews and medical testing. “That relationship is special to me just based on the fact that I have someone in the NBA already that’s giving me advice on what things to do and what things not to do is always helpful.”

And hey, did you hear that possible No. 1pick Derek Williams is comparing himself to James?

In a statement after finding out Tuesday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers would have the first pick in the NBA Draft, Williams shared why he’d be the best option with the first pick.

“I think I’m the No. 1 pick because I have more star quality I would think,” the small forward said. “I’m just a bigger person. Just trying to fill in for a big star like LeBron like they’re missing. That missing piece. I think that’s me.”

Living in Arizona we all got a chance to see Williams play at the University of Arizona but no one once thought ‘that guy is the next LeBron James’ (that is anyone that wasn’t a complete UA homer).

How long are we going to be filtering everything Cavs related through the lens of LeBron? Yes, I know Bron-Bron hasn’t even been gone a full season yet, but are we going to vet every player on his relationship with James (or his mom? ZING)?

Obviously, LeBron will always have a strong connection the Cavalier franchise. I get that. He’s their all-time leading scorer and their only MVP (twice over). And the way he left caused a bit of a ruckus.

But with people telling Cavs fans to move on, it’d be a lot easier if our media helped us out (I mean, no one is reading stories about who Chris Bosh thinks the Raptors should draft).

Questions like how Irving could work with current Baron Davis or how Iriving could handle Coach Byron’s offense are a bit more pertinent than his relationship with James.  The shadow of James still looms over this franchise (and city) but not everything about the Cavs (or really anything, at this point) has to be seen through through a LeBron-filter.

He’s gone. We get it. The Cavs got the number one pick (for Damon Jones, basically) and have begun their rebuild. The franchise and the fans are moving on.

It’d be nice if everyone else could follow suit.

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2 Responses to We’ll never really be free of him, will we?

  1. Dylan says:

    It is a story because its the number 1 pick and Kyrie is friends with LBJ. If Utah won the 1st pick, they’d ask Deron, if Denver won #1, they’d ask Melo, etc. Do Cleveland fans care, no. Do other NBA fans care? Yeah, they do. Once a year (maybe two, max) it will be a non-story. The end is near.

    One thing: calling Irving the “Anti-Lebron” just continues the vicious cylce. Call him, “A great player that will be a pillar of the community” and it will end faster. When Vick was banished from Atlanta and they drafted a great QB in Matt Ryan, the PR people did a great job by instituting 2 rules: 1) never bring Vick up and 2) when someone does mention him, smile and say nothing but good things about the man. By the start of the next season, it was no big deal and even after his huge year, theres no anger or drama.

    Cleveland should take notes.

  2. Ben says:

    I don’t buy it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Jazz get 3rd with the pick from the Nets? How is that not a story? Also, we didn’t get “Melo is leaving! where is Melo going??” stories until his walk year (or just before). We had “LeBron is still leaving” stories when he resigned the first time (and for the entirety of his second contract).

    The focus was never on the Cavalier basketball team during LBJ’s time here, it was how good the Cavs were playing AND whether or not them playing well could convince them to keep LeBron.

    And it’s not the Cavs PR people bringing up James or calling Irving the “anti-LeBron”.

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