LeBron ‘disappointed’ after Lakers fail to secure Kyrie trade

LeBron James shared on Monday that he was disappointed the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t secure former teammate Kyrie Irving in a trade.

The duo of James and Irving became the only team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, taking the Golden State Warriors’ record 73-9 for the 2016 championship.

Their history and chemistry meant that when Irving asked for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, James believed it was exactly the opportunity his team had been waiting for, but they were beaten to the punch by the Dallas Mavericks.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers offered a deal sending Russell Westbrook and their two remaining first-round picks – in 2027 and 2029 – to the Nets, but with their own championship aspirations, the Nets wouldn’t budge unless young. promising. Max Christie and Austin Reaves were also included.

This is believed to be where the Lakers drew the line, although other reports from Marc Stein claim that Nets owner Joe Tsai would never send Irving to Los Angeles because he thought it was there he was trying to make his way.

Speaking to ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, James explained why he thinks Irving is a good fit for this Lakers team, but said he’s already moved on.

“I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed that I couldn’t land such talent,” he said. “Someone I had great chemistry with, and I know I have great chemistry on the court, that can help you win championships, in my mind, in my eyes.

“But my focus is shifted now. My focus is shifted to where it should be and it’s this club now and what we have in the dressing room. It’s a quick pivot. It doesn’t take me long. I don’t get too excited about the possibilities of things that can be.

“I kind of imagine myself on what he can, but I don’t invest it until I know it’s happening, and when it’s not happening, I’m back locked into work. to accomplish.

“So we had an opportunity, our names were there, the Lakers name was there. We had an opportunity, it didn’t happen.

“We’re moving on and finishing this season strong, trying to get a playoff bid, where I think if we go healthy we can compete with anybody.”

James has acknowledged the struggles of the Lakers — currently 13th out of 15 Western Conference teams — have had an effect on him, but he’s determined to right the ship.

“Well, I mean for me it’s tough, but I’ve got 10 toes down,” he said. “I understand that once I show up for work, or once I show up for the job description – and that’s being a ball club leader every day – there’s no [question for] me on my state of mind.

“My mindset is how great we can be today and how we can maximize today for the next game, for the next road trip, for the next movie, for the next practice, for the next trip by bus, by plane.

“I have this mentality of whether we can maximize today, it makes the next challenge that much easier for us.”

It’s no secret that Westbrook is at the center of these trade rumors for the Lakers as they try to ship him elsewhere, but head coach Darvin Ham says he has no was only professional.

“He shows up, does his job, is a professional – and that’s all you can do for all of us,” he said.

“It’s an unforgiving business…dealing with rumours, different things going on. All you can do is put your head down, do your job and try to stay as professional as you can. possible, and he did it.”

Irving – who will make his debut for the Mavericks on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers – also received a $2 million bonus due to the kicker clause in his contract.

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