LeBron James heaped high praise on his former teammate Kyrie Irving in a recent tweet. James and Irving won a championship together for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. Earlier in the offseason, rumors linked the seven-time All-Star to the Lakers, but all of that fizzled out.
Even years after parting ways, Irving and James share a ton of mutual respect. James once again showcased that as he responded to a tweet from his friend Cuffs the legend, who shared his thoughts about Irving. James’ tweet read:
LeBron James has been a massive part of Irving’s career. Prior to the four-time champion’s arrival in Cleveland, Irving was ascending into a star in the league. However, it was with James that he was able to win a championship and cement himself as one of the best players.
In a few of his recent podcast appearances, Irving shared his appreciation of LeBron James. Although they played only three seasons together, the duo helped the Cavs get to three consecutive finals and one championship.
LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 after winning two championships with the Miami Heat. Kyrie Irving was playing at an elite level, but that wasn’t cutting it for the team. That was where James came in and turned the tables for the Cavs.
After being deprived of a spot in the playoffs for four years, the Cavaliers finished second in the East in 2014-15. Irving looked like a completely different player as he had a lot more freedom with James by his side.
In their very first year as a duo, the Cavs reached the finals. They faced a young Golden State Warriors team, led by MVP Steph Curry.
In Game 1 of the finals, Irving injured his kneecap and was indefinitely ruled out of the series. To their dismay, Kevin Love
Despite putting up a good fight, the Warriors proved to be too good for the Cavs and won 4-2. However, there were high expectations from the Cavs the following season. With all their players available, the team wrecked havoc in the East and finished as the top seed.
Irving and James were unstoppable in the playoffs. The Cavaliers reached their second straight NBA Finals where their opponents were once again the Warriors. The Dubs were easily the best team that year as they finished with a league-best record of 73-9.
Tough competition was expected, but the Warriors looked determined to win their second consecutive title and got off to a 3-1 lead. It looked like things were over, but that was when James and Irving showcased what they were capable of.
The duo scored 41 points each in Game 5 to help the Cavs make a comeback in the series. It was the first time that two teammates scored over 40 points in a finals game. A lot still remained to be done. They won Game 6 as well. This meant that the series was to be decided in Game 7 at the Oracle Arena.
Both teams had a lot of pressure going into the game. With less than two minutes remaining, the score was tied at 89. The Warriors went into transition and Andre Iguodala
However, LeBron James pulled off a chasedown block to keep the scores level. Irving backed that up with a clutch 3-point shot over Curry to help the Cavs win their first championship.
The duo helped the Cavaliers get to the NBA Finals the following season as well. But the Warriors got their revenge and won 4-1. Irving and James did their best, but with Kevin Durant in the Warriors, the duo stood no chance.
Following the loss, Kyrie Irving decided to take his talents to the Boston Celtics. LeBron James tried to stop the seven-time All-Star, but Irving had his mind set on leaving. They will always be remembered as one of the greatest duos in NBA history.
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