Report- LeBron James: Lakers star blasted for ‘PATHETIC’ Kyrie Irving claim | Other | Sport

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LeBron James: Lakers star blasted for ‘PATHETIC’ Kyrie Irving claim | Other | Sport

That’s ahead of his return to Quicken Loans Arena tomorrow (1am tip-off UK time).

The Cavs are rock bottom of the Eastern Conference having gone 2-13 since James’ summer switch to Los Angeles.

And while the Lakers are only No 8 in the West, they are at least in contention for the playoffs with a 9-7 record and LeBron in electric form.

He dropped 51 points in their win over another former team, the Miami Heat, on Sunday and is second only to Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker in scoring.

Yet ahead of his return, the four-time MVP believes Cleveland’s decline began when Irving was traded in the summer of 2017 – even though he led them to a fourth straight Finals last year, when they were swept by the Golden State Warriors.

James told The Athletic: “Everyone knows that when Kyrie got traded, it was the beginning of the end for everything. It’s not a secret.”

And the 33-year-old hinted that general manager Koby Altman – who promised Irving would not be traded minutes before he was – was overruled by owner Dan Gilbert, with whom he had a rocky relationship since James’ first Cavs departure in 2010.

But American sports commentator Skip Bayless, talking on his Fox Sports show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, insists LeBron is simply seeking sympathy.

He said: “This whole story is just pathetic. Kyrie was asked at his shoot-around what he thought of this same story and he just shrugged and said, ‘You know what I’ve moved on.’ 

“And LeBron should have said when asked these questions about what happened in the past in Cleveland, ‘I’ve moved on. Let it be, let it lay.’ 

“You’ve got your two Brentwood estates, you’ve got Staples [Center], you’ve got LA and a hot young team with some vets. Everything’s okay, onward and upward. 

“But LeBron just can’t help himself, he constantly needs to rewrite history with his sympathetic spin on it. 

“He has to revise history so that everybody says, ‘Oh poor LeBron.’ He needs to keep feeding the gullible witnesses out there these loads of baloney because he knows they’ll swallow it and say, ‘Poor pitiful LeBron.’ 

“Did Dan Gilbert sabotage LeBron? Kyrie just went to Gilbert and said, ‘I’ve had enough, I can’t take it anymore, I want out.’ 

“You can make the case Gilbert should have dug in and said, ‘Tough’. But what just happened with Jimmy Butler and Glen Taylor in Minnesota? 

“He told him, ‘I’m out, I don’t even want to try anymore.’ Glen Taylor just ordered everyone under him to figure it out and move him to wherever they could move him. 

“The same thing was happening but the sabotage ended after the trade deadline, Gilbert was the executive of the year in the NBA.”