Kyrie Irving made a lot of enemies in Cleveland on Wednesday night when he told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that, among other things, he was enjoying Boston because it feels like a “real, live sports city.” If Boston is a real, live sports city, the logic went, what does that make Cleveland?
Does it sound more inflammatory than Irving intended? Probably. But the Kyrie Irving trade saga struck a chord with both fanbases to the point where every comment, every tweet, and every Instagram like is looked at under a microscope.
Ultimately, Irving should have known better. It’s 2017, and with social media the way that it is, he had to know that those comments were going to blow up in his face. Fast-forward to Friday afternoon, when ESPN’s Dave McMenamin caught up with Ty Lue and Dwyane Wade to get their take on Kyrie Irving’s comments.
Lue didn’t seem all that interested in engaging in a back-and-forth with Irving over Cleveland vs. Boston, but like just about everyone, he wasn’t sure what Irving was trying to accomplish.
“I don’t know,” Lue told ESPN. “He can do what he wants to do. But we know in Cleveland, we have a great sports town in Cleveland. A great city, fans behind the teams 100 percent, so I’m happy to be here.”
But Wade offered a significantly juicier take, though he prefaced his more headline-grabbing remarks by saying he doesn’t want to judge Kyrie on a snippet of one interview.
“I think, depending on how you want to take it. If you’re Cleveland and the way they were left, you read it one way. If you’re a sports fan somewhere else, you read it another way. So it just depends on how someone wants to take the quote when someone says it. Unless you were there and you heard it and saw his facial reaction and know how he really meant it. That’s how I look at things.”
That has to be one of the most refreshing quotes I’ve read in a long, long time. And Wade is absolutely right in this regard. Generally speaking, comments can mean wildly different things depending on your perspective, and it’s nice to see Wade remove himself from the petty nature of the NBA that we all know and love. Wade didn’t stop there, however.
“My thing has always been — even in Miami — first of all, you never know where you’re going to be, what’s going to happen, where you’re going to end up, who you’re going to be teammates with,” Wade said. “You just never know those things, so I never want to leave a place and talk s— about a place. Because when you were there, it was great, and then you leave, it’s terrible?”
I think Wade nailed it again here. If Irving meant what he said in the most negative light you can interpret his comments in, it’s a bad look. In fairness to Irving, though, he never said Cleveland was terrible. He didn’t say he hated it there, or that he was miserable, but you can’t leave a team the way Kyrie left the Cavaliers and expect to get the benefit of the doubt from fans in Cleveland.