When Kyrie Irving and LeBron James step onto the practice floor together today, visions of what could be will dance in the heads of Cavaliers fans across the region.
With the growing belief James will consider returning to Cleveland during the summer of 2014, this weekend’s All-Star festivities could be a foreshadowing of things to come. For now, neither player is taking the chatter seriously. Irving is enjoying his first All-Star weekend, and James is positioning the Miami Heat for perhaps consecutive NBA championships.
“That’s one thing I’m not even thinking about right now,” James said of a return to the Cavaliers. “I’m focused on All-Star weekend now and even more trying to win another championship.”
But the whispers of a possible James return aren’t going away — fueled in part by James’ comments the last time the Heat played in Cleveland — and Irving is a big reason why.
James has often shouldered the role of point guard — he’ll even be the starting point guard for the East on Sunday — because he has played with mediocre point guards throughout his career. From former Canton McKinley star Eric Snow, to Damon Jones, Jeff McInnis, Mo Williams, Mario Chalmers, Carlos Arroyo and a broken down Mike Bibby, the list of point guards James has played with ranges from mediocre at best to guys barely hanging on in the NBA.
Yet James gushes over Irving, posting messages on his Twitter account praising him for his 40-point effort last month in a win over the Boston Celtics and declaring Irving an All-Star long before the coaches’ votes were tallied.
“I said earlier this year or last year that in a couple years, he’d be top two or top three best point guards in the league,” James said Friday. “He’s headed there already. His ability to shoot the ball, his ability to drive the ball and finish, I think he’s one of the best finishers we have in our game. I think the next level for him is to continue to get his teammates better. That will separate him, but he’s doing some great things right now and they should be excited about having him in Cleveland.”
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving teammates for a day ... for now
Akron Beacon Journal | Feb 16