Kyrie Irving Reveals Nearly Teaming Up With LeBron James Again

Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Rumors
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As the Dallas Mavericks enter a potential closeout Game 6, Kyrie Irving reflects on what might have been if he had rejoined LeBron James in Los Angeles on the Lakers, a narrative that had NBA fans buzzing before his decision to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks.

“Everything was considered,” Irving told Fox Sports

Irving’s decision-making process included a potential return to playing alongside LeBron, with whom he famously won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

“He’s a great friend of mine, a great brother of mine,” Irving told FOX Sports. “We obviously played together [in Cleveland]. Everybody knows our history. But there were so many different factors in between. When it comes to business decisions, you have to ask the GMs, the presidents why certain things didn’t work out.” 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Irving chose to continue his career with the Mavericks, a team that welcomed him warmly, and it’s safe to say, it’s paid off for him. Irving and Doncic led Dallas to a 50-win campaign this season, with Irving averaging 25.6 points, 5.2 assists, and 5.0 rebounds in 58 games, coming just a shade below a 50-40-90 shooting season.

“I know I can speak for myself that I’m grateful someone took a chance on me,” Irving told FOX Sports. “Dallas welcomed me with open arms. For me, it wasn’t time to think about the ‘what ifs.’ It was time for me to put my best foot forward. That’s what I did. It’s hard to think of the ‘what ifs,’ the allure, the thoughts of it.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Irving’s in the second season of a successful stint with the Mavericks but it didn’t begin that way. He went 5-11 in 16 games played next to Luka Doncic in 2022-23, ending their campaign with a failure to qualify for the play-in tournament after the organization opted to tank the final two games of the season.

“Initially, I knew that [me and Luka] were going to have some growing pains,” Irving said.

Reflecting on the hypothetical scenario of reuniting with James, Irving showed a mix of nostalgia and peace with his choice. “Yeah, it was fun to think about it,” he said.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Irving’s focus is clearly on the potential of the Mavericks, who would face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals if they can close out their first-round series against the Clippers—entering Friday’s Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead. , aiming to replicate and perhaps surpass past successes in a new setting, with the specter of what could have been with LeBron now just a footnote in his storied career.

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