Awkward: Kyrie Irving asked about LeBron James being a father figure (video)
An awkwardly surreal scene played out when a reporter asked Kyrie Irving about the way in which LeBron James serves as a father figure for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After Irving appeared to misinterpret the inquiry — which would have made it less uncomfortable — the Cavaliers point guard completely disputed the notion that he views his teammate as a paternal influence.
As transcribed by Deadspin:
Reporter: Kyrie, Tristan [Thompson] called LeBron a great father after the Chicago win…
Reporter: He did.
Irving: A great fath … oh a great father? Oh? I interpreted that completely wrong. I thought you said he was a great father to him. I was like “what?”
Reporter. Called him a great father. So what type of parental role has he played for you and your teammates?
Irving: Oh ok, so you…
Different Reporter: You were right the first time.
Irving: Yeah yeah. Parental role? Honestly … [laughs] … I don’t know how to really answer that question. He has been a great leader for us. I have one father. That’s my dad Drederick Irving. But for us, in terms of learning the nuances of the game, and also how to win, and how to carry ourselves off the court, I feel he has been a great influence in that role.
As noted elsewhere, the fact that James is 30 and Irving is 23 makes the potential father-son relationship between the two an odd notion. Further, given that Irving has an incredibly close bond with his father — his mother died when he was four and his dad raised him as a single parent — probably made the line of questioning somewhat off-putting to Irving.
Although to be fair, comments made earlier in the season by James when the Cavaliers were struggling certainly indicated he viewed himself as a father figure, so there’s that.
With a lengthy layoff between the Cavs’ series-clinching win over the Bulls and Game 1 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Hawks on Wednesday, the talking points — and what a reporter can ask a player — invariably dries up. But Irving’s response to the “LeBron as a Father Figure” question makes it abundantly clear what he thought of it.