Kyrie Irving's NBA career took a turn for the best when LeBron James decided it was time to come home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He's preparing for his third NBA Finals in a row as James' right-hand man, captured a championship last season and hit a shot that in Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors that will be talked about for ages.
Irving was the franchise player before LeBron made his return, set to be the light to lead the Cavaliers out of the dark. He still is, but it's under very different circumstances these days as they prepare for another seven game series against the Warriors.
Irving was asked about how his on-court relationship with James has evolved since they embarked on their journey to capture multiple titles together and had a thoughtful response that solidifies why Irving is such a great fit next to LeBron.
It wasn't always seamless, though, Irving revealed to media following the Cavaliers' Game 5 victory over the Boston Celtics.
"In our beginning stages I think that we didn't want to step on each other's toes because of how special we both are and the other pieces we have on our team. That's a hard balance to figure out, but the special ones figure it out and I'm just eternally grateful to have a guy like that," Irving told reporters.
Irving was hugely complimentary of James, who happens to be a perennial Most Valuable Player candidate and three-time NBA champion. Kyrie noted that while he could easily siut back and awe, he uses James' greatness to strive to be better himself.
"As much criticism as the guy takes he continues to perform, and continues to come back and come back again and again and again, and that's the echo of greatness. When you're around that you have a choice. either you can sit back and just watch and observe, or you can pick your game up as well," Irving said.
Kyrie's role as being a leader next to LeBron, as opposed to simply being led, is something he doesn't take lightly.
"When you look at how this team is run, and who are the driving forces behind it it has to be myself and Bron. And we understand that, and it falls on our shoulders as well as everyone else, but we have to carry it.
"I accepted that and he knows I'm preparing every single day, and I'm dedicating myself every single day to this game and I'm leaving it all out there, and I expect the same from him," Irving said.
"When you get to that level of trust, and you allow someone to come into a friendship that extends well off the court, and you understand how great this era can be if we are selfless to the point where we don't think about anything else but the greatness of our team and what we can accomplish."