Since coming up short against Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and the rest of the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a tear, aggressively pursuing each and every free agent. Led by top-tier NBA GM David Griffin, they’ve showed themselves to be the creme-de-la-creme when it comes to picking up the pieces and moving on from a potentially crippling loss on the world’s biggest stage. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love — their three most important players — remain satisfied, nay, exuberant about the direction the team has taken since...
Ah man, I’m sorry. I can’t keep it up anymore.
Just a few hours ago, news broke that Kyrie Irving demanded to be traded. This, coming on the heels of an embarrassing, head-scratcher of a summer. The Cavaliers — fresh off three straight NBA Finals appearances, including winning their first ever championship in 2016 — are quite literally, in the words of respected columnist Zach Lowe, “fracturing.”
Here’s a timeline of events, from our very own Tim Cato:
[Read the whole article, he goes deep on every point, but I’m just giving you the hits for brevity’s sake]
1. The Cavaliers were walloped in the NBA Finals
3. The Cavaliers didn’t draft anyone, of course
4. Cleveland missed out on both Paul George and Jimmy Butler
5. The Cavaliers dive into salary cap hell to re-sign their top players
6. LeBron James might not be coming back
7. Cleveland realized it can’t find a general manager
8. Irving demands a trade
Boy howdy, that’s a heck of an offseason, fellas. Could you have handled that any worse? Really? I’m serious. Could you have possibly. made. this. more. awk-—oh shit, wait.
“Where’s Dan? Where’s Dan Gilbert? He’s right outside. Grab him. Where’s Dan? Dan Gilbert just came in.”
Dan Gilbert walked in, and Kyrie Irving and LeBron James walked out.
Jeez, so much for the rivalry. I wanted to see the fourth installment of this Finals rematch movie.
Around the NBA internet
Kyrie made his move, and the internet exploded. Here were some of my favorite tweets from my favorite follows as we all tried — collectively — to make sense of this strange, ongoing development.
There have been rumblings of Kyrie's general/vague discontent for the last week or so. Great work by Windy to nail it down. Cavs fracturing. https://t.co/FXR3HYywus— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 21, 2017
Warriors legit destroyed the Cavs like Draymond said they would. Crazy.— 49ers pls. (@The1stWright) July 21, 2017
It's been an open secret that Kyrie is not particularly invested in Cleveland.— David Zavac (@DavidZavac) July 21, 2017
And playing off LeBron wasn't natural for him.
This outcome (him ending up on the Spurs) would be terrifying. Please don’t make this true, because Kyrie and Kawhi Leonard would be fierce.
Separately, he apparently requested to get traded to (among others) the Knicks?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. FLAT EARTH LIIIIIIIIIIVES.
Hopefully not too close to the edge, lest he fall over the side. https://t.co/ZonIx4znTP— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) July 21, 2017
ESPN Sources: On Kyrie Irving front, Cavs were given four preferred landing spots: New York, Miami, San Antonio, Minnesota.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 21, 2017
For dinner, I would like to have steak, sushi, pizza, or a Lego someone fished out of the garbage https://t.co/Ul5k3gxCOG— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) July 21, 2017
Luckily, Kevin Love was taking it well.
Apparently, LeBron was devastated.
So, man... Life is crazy in Cleveland and around the NBA right now. Kyrie may not believe in physics and in provable science, but he does believe his time in a Cavs uniform — alongside LeBron James, with whom he just went to three straight Finals — is over.
In other news, the earth is round, and people are going to continue to make head-scratching decisions. It’s the only constant in this dumb world.