NBA Players: 5 Biggest franchise-superstar fallouts in recent times
More so than any other major sports league, the NBA is controlled and influenced by its biggest stars. Superstars around the league often amount fanbases that are comparable with teams and the 2019 offseason highlighted just how much power stars such as Paul George and Kawhi Leonard wield.
Due to the high stakes of the NBA, relationships between fans, franchises, and players quickly sour, and there have been many notable fallouts over the past decade. So, with plenty to chose from, here are our top five picks for the biggest fallouts of the past decade.
#5 Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2017 after growing frustrated at playing second-fiddle to LeBron James. The Boston Celtics swooped quickly to sign one of the NBA's best young talents, and Irving finally had the responsibilities that he craved.
While injury-hit, Irving's first season in Boston was a success and back in October, the point guard told a large crowd of Boston fans that he planned to stay. An injury-free Celtics side was also among the favourites to advance from the Eastern Conference, and it appeared that Irving would finally develop into one of the NBA's biggest stars in Boston.
However, Irving's mood quickly turned, and he often found himself criticizing his young teammates as the season progressed. By the time the playoffs had rolled around, Irving was widely viewed as a toxic force in the Boston locker room, and the All-Star refused to communicate with the Celtics during the offseason.
Now with the Brooklyn Nets, Irving will once again take a back seat - this time to Kevin Durant.