LOS ANGELES – When Kyrie Irving arrived in Boston, the questions surrounding him and his relationship with LeBron James kept coming.
Irving no longer wanted to play with arguably the best player on the planet, for a Cleveland team that would be heavily favored to make it to the NBA Finals for what would have been a fourth-straight year.
And just like Irving kept his words to a minimum back then when talking about him and James, he’s no different now that they are once again teammates, for one night at least.
The new All-Star format involved LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the top vote-getters in the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, picking their teams from the remaining 22 All-Stars.
Irving was chosen by James which did not come as a surprise to Irving.
“I kind of had a feeling which team I was going to be on,” Irving said. “I don’t think Steph would have chosen me with the first pick in the draft. He would have probably chosen bigger size to go with his team. But either way, I was cool with it.”
And playing with James?
“It’ll be awesome man; it’s great,” Irving said.
When James was named an All-Star captain, he said he immediately had a plan for Irving.
“If he was available, I was taking him,” James said.
And while both players understand much has been made of their parting of ways, James continues to squash any talk of there being any lingering beef between them.
“Listen, anytime I get an opportunity to be with a fellow teammate of mine on the same court, and then you add on the fact of what we were able to accomplish in the three years … you automatically start thinking about the moments,” James said, referring to the Cavs winning it all in 2016.
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Even before the two joined forces in Cleveland, James acknowledged having thought about what it would be like someday to play with Irving.
“There was a time when I was in Miami when I thought about if there was a chance for me to be Kyrie's teammate at All-Star Weekend,” James recalled. “I thought about that. I didn't think it would be possible, and then we became teammates. We were on the same All-Star court together as teammates.
James added, “then, now, being opponents once again, but those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years, when the both of us had magical, magical Finals runs. So it's always special.”