Did LeBron James just throw more shade at Kyrie Irving?


LeBron James is the NBA’s king of throwing shade. After he spent the week throwing all sorts of shade at the Knicks, before crushing their souls at the Garden on Monday night, James sent a little more shade Kyrie Irving’s way.

At least that’s one way to interpret what he had to say to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck about Isaiah Thomas’ impending return from injury:

“It’s been a while since I’ve had that clear-cut guy who can get guys involved but also score at the same time.”

Intentional or not, that reads like a direct shot at Irving. Obviously the former Cavs point guard had no problem scoring, but his play-making skills have been called into question throughout his career, and rightfully so. Irving has averaged more than six assists only once during his NBA career. Irving, himself, said he was excited to go to Boston so he could finally play like a true point guard.

Via MassLive.com:

“I’m just looking forward to playing my position. I’m looking forward to becoming something that I’ve always envisioned myself being — and that’s being a complete point guard on a great team. I want to be able to come off pick-and-rolls and be able to dissect the defense, and be able to have guys that — this is not a knock on anybody that I was playing with, but my role was completely different (in Cleveland).”

But here’s where James’ comment gets weird: It’s not like Thomas is John Stockton out there. He averaged only 5.9 assists a season ago. Thomas has never been known as a player who creates for others, either.

James’ comment also begs the question: When was the last time he played with someone who fits that description? Dwyane Wade is really the only guy who comes to mind. While not a point guard, he can get others involved from the shooting guard position. But Wade is currently playing with James, so that leaves him out of the conversation — unless James is implying Wade is no longer capable of doing so.

Could it be Mo Williams, the former Cavs point guard who made the All-Star team while playing with LeBron in 2009? He wasn’t the scorer Kyrie is — Williams averaged 17.8 points that season — and he wasn’t racking up assists either, averaging just 4.1 during his season with James.

Or maybe James has a different definition of “a while,” and considers the months it’s been since he played with Irving to be “a while.” Probably not.

Outside of Wade, James has never played with a scoring guard who could also distribute — at least in the NBA — so this really just sounds like a reason to take a shot at Irving’s point guard ability. James has said there’s a reason behind all of these cryptic soundbites and tweets and he throws out into the ether. The aim of this one isn’t hard to figure out.

Source link