Irving asked to be traded from the Cavaliers during the 2017 offseason.

By Kaelen Jones
January 16, 2019

Following Boston's 105–103 loss to the Magic on Saturday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving called former teammate and Lakers forward LeBron James to apologize for his younger self's behavior. Irving reportedly called James while the three-time Finals MVP ate dinner with former teammate Kevin Love in Los Angeles.

Irving asked to be traded away from the Cavaliers during the 2017 offseason. He reportedly went as far as to threaten sitting out the regular season to have a procedure done on his knee if Cleveland didn't trade him.

It was reported that Irving had grown disenchanted with playing as a secondary star to James while a member of the Cavs. Cleveland later shipped Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a first-round pick.

After Boston's 117–108 win against the Raptors on Wednesday night, Irving was asked about the difficulties of being a veteran leader on a younger squad. Irving offered a candid response, and explained why he counseled James for advice regarding leadership.

"It was a big deal for me because I had to call 'Bron and tell him I apologize for being that young player that wanted to have everything at his fingertips and I wanted everything to be at my threshold," Irving said. "I wanted to be the guy that led us to change. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that. And the responsibility of being the best player in the world and leading a team is something that's not meant for many people. 'Bron was one of those guys that came to Cleveland and tried to really show us what it's like to win a championship. And it was hard for him. Sometimes getting the most out of a group isn't the easiest thing in the world."

During James's tenure with the Heat, the Cavaliers drafted Irving first in the 2010 draft. Irving played three years with Cleveland prior to James's return ahead of the 2014-15 season.

James and Irving played four years together, helping lead the Cavs to their first-ever NBA championship in 2016.

"I feel like the best person to call was him because he's been in that situation before," Irving said. "He's been there with me."

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