When Kyrie Irving's trade request from Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 rocked the league
Kyrie Irving spent six years with the Cleveland Cavaliers after the franchise drafted him first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. During his run with the Cavaliers, Irving was named to four All-Star teams and one All-NBA team, while also winning the 2011-2012 Rookie of the Year award and the 2015-2016 NBA championship.
During that 2016 championship run, Irving averaged 27.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, 3.9 assists per game, 2.1 steals per game, and 0.7 blocks per game while shooting 46.8% from the field, 40.5% from three-point range, and 93.9% from the free-throw line.
In the final three games of the series, in which Cleveland made a historic comeback, Irving stepped up his game. The seven-time All-Star averaged 30.0 points per game, 4.3 assists per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 1.7 steals per game, and 1.3 blocks per game. Perhaps more impressively, Kyrie shot 52.3% from the field, 52.9% from three-point range, and 100.0% from the free-throw line. He also helped the Cavs clinch the title with one of the most clutch shots in NBA history.
Revisit Kyrie Irving's clutch NBA Finals three-pointer below:
Fans were shocked when the 2013-2014 All-Star Game MVP requested to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers following the 2016-2017 season, despite coming off three straight NBA Finals appearances. Ultimately, Irving received his wish as he was dealt to the Boston Celtics for a package center around Isaiah Thomas, who was coming off two consecutive All-Star appearances and a fifth-place finish in the MVP race.
Kyrie Irving getting traded disappointed LeBron James
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James had plenty of success as teammates prior to Irving's decision to request a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. With speculation that James would once again leave the franchise in the 2018 offseason, however, Irving decided to be the first to depart.
While James was initially disappointed by the request, he opened up about his co-star's decision at the Cavaliers media day prior to the 2017-2018 season, stating:
"I don't think anybody in the organization saw this coming... It was definitely a shock."
As far as their relationship, James added:
"I have no advice for him now. If my son went to another team and asked for advice, I ain't giving him s**t."
While things seemed rocky between the two stars at the time, it appears to have been smoothed out. This past offseason, there were rumors that Irving could join James as a member of the LA Lakers. While that did not come to fruition, there has been speculation that the move could happen this offseason, when Irving will be a free agent and the Lakers will have the cap space to sign him.
Watch Kyrie Irving's highlights below: