Kyrie Irving willing to sacrifice ego for championships alongside LeBron James

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Throughout NBA history, great players have played with one another on the same team and have been very successful, but it doesn't always work out.

At the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen played alongside each other and they won six NBA Championships together. However, when Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were together at the Los Angeles Lakers, they only won three titles. Sometimes, greatness can hinder greatness as many believe the Lakers duo could have won more.

One player receives all the individual awards whilst the other receives the blame if things go wrong. Enter the modern day example at the Cleveland Cavaliers of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

We know who is who here and speaking in a recent interview with Dave McNenamin of ESPN, Irving has said he is more than willing to sacrifice his ego to stay true to the team's goal of winning the NBA Championship, even if that means James gets the spotlight at the end.

He took the time to speak to Bryant about this kind of relationship so that he wouldn't make the same mistakes which hindered how successful he and Shaq were when they were together.

The 25-year-old said: "It's a tough balance. Because everyone knows, Shaq was really dominant and (had) a lot of the individual accolades ... unbelievable. And that's who he was. And Kobe was just consistently working on his game and consistently trying to prove everyone all the time. And you got to commend somebody for that.

"That just shows the true testament of their will and what they're willing to do and what they're willing to sacrifice, but I know I don't want to look back and say that I let my selfishness get in the way of us winning championships, because we have unbelievable talent on this team and unbelievable players, and so I don't want to ever take that for granted."

The two Cavaliers stars have an uphill battle if they want to win championship number two together, after losing Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors 113-91. LeBron scored 28 points with 15 rebounds and eight assists on the night, while Irving scored 24 points with three rebounds and two assists.

The biggest thing Cleveland needs to cut down on is turnovers, as 20 turnovers led to 21 Warriors points during Game 1. James caused eight of those turnovers and Golden State only won by 22. This must be changed if the Cavaliers are to retain their title.

If James and Irving are able to cut back on the turnovers and get back into these Finals, they'll be one step closer towards being in the conversation of one of the best duos to ever play in the NBA.

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference

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