“Me going against Bron we playing 1-on-1” - 7x NBA All-Star refuses to answer who emerged as the winner between his and LeBron James’ 1v1 matchup 

LeBron James during the 2016 NBA Finals - Game Six
LeBron James during the 2016 NBA Finals - Game Six

Former NBA champion Kyrie Irving refused to name the winner of a 1v1 matchup between himself and ex-teammate LeBron James. Irving and James played together for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2015 to 2017. The dynamic duo led the franchise to three consecutive Finals appearances and a historic title win in 2016.

In a recent interview with 'I AM ATHLETE', Kyrie revealed his mindset during his time in Cleveland, saying that he wanted to prove he was better than every player on the team. He said he would often challenge his teammates to play 1v1, including LeBron James, who he did face once.

Here's what Irving said:

"I was coming in every day like yo, I'm better than you, you, you, you, you, I don't care y'all can lineup 1-v-1 we can go right now. That energy was me every day, so you know, me going against Bron 1-on-1 and we played one time, I'm not gonna tell y'all who won or lost, but we had fun going back and forth."

Kyrie Irving shows tremendous respect for LeBron James, says they could've won more championships together

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were a terrific duo during their time together as teammates. Despite having plenty of friction in their relationship, they went on to win the ring in the most emphatic manner possible.

Down 3-1 against the 73-win Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron and Kyrie put the Cavs on their backs to lead them to a remarkable turnaround and win the title.

To date, many argue that if James and Irving had found a way to make things work, they could've prevailed against a Warriors team that had Kevin Durant as well, and won more championships.

Kyrie Irving himself echoed those sentiments during his interview with 'I AM ATHLETE', saying:

"I definitely feel like, if I was in the same maturity level I am now, understanding who I am and I look back on the time then we definitely, definitely, would've won more championships together because there would've been a better man-to-man understanding about what I'm going through because I didn't know how to share my emotions."

Irving continued:

"I wasn't connecting as much with everybody during our championship year, so in 2017 it was a different year for us. So we went against Golden State we went against a great team. And you're not a great team and when you're not clicking on all cylinders and together, you're easily defeatable. We definitely could've given Golden State a run for their money, regardless if they had Kev (Durant). "

The Cleveland Cavaliers faced the Golden State Warriors for two more years after 2016. In 2017, the Cavs lost the series 4-1, and in 2018, without Kyrie Irving, they were swept 4-0. LeBron James went on to play for the LA Lakers and has since won a championship, while Kyrie Irving played for the Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets but hasn't made the NBA Finals with either side.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava