LeBron James was with Kevin Love when Kyrie Irving called
Kyrie Irving revealed this week that he recently reached out to LeBron James to apologize for his behavior when the two were teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
An interesting wrinkle to the already interesting story is how James was hanging out with Kevin Love — another former Cavs teammate with whom James has remained close — at the time of Irving’s call.
The Athletic’s Joe Vardon reports that James and Love were dining out in Los Angeles with some of James’ business associates Sunday night after the Lakers-Cavaliers game when Irving placed the initial call.
“LeBron looked down at his phone and he showed us,” Love told Vardon. “He was like, ‘I wonder what he wants?'”
James elected to return Irving’s call later when afforded some privacy.
Irving’s impetus for calling James stemmed in large part for the hard lessons he’s learning after taking on a leadership role with the Boston Celtics. Irving’s realization that being a team leader — as James of course was when leading Irving, Love and the Cavs to an NBA title — is far more challenging than it may appear.
Love, who has previously weighed in on the issue, relayed to Vardon how he had to deal with the same issues when joining James’ Cavs.
“I think Kyrie went through some of the same struggles that I did,” said Love, who was 26 in 2014, when he and James and Irving joined forces. “There were some bad habits and maybe not knowing what it means to sacrifice and take a back seat to someone like a LeBron, who was trying to teach us how to win. I think I’m a much better player now, a much better teammate from having gone through it.”
Irving obviously did not see eye-to-eye at times with James during their partnership in Cleveland, something that ultimately effectuated his exodus to Boston.
Irving has long been reserved if not obstinate when presented questions about his time with James, although that appears to be changing with the passage of time. Perhaps his call to James demonstrates Irving is growing as person, player and leader as well.