David Griffin says Kyrie Irving left Cavs for Celtics because LeBron James didn't need him

Last summer, the biggest NBA story was that of Kyrie Irving and his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade to the Boston Celtics. Ever since then, many have questioned as to why Irving ever wanted to leave The Land in the first place.

Most people, despite the reports which have come out, have arrived at the conclusion that the point guard wanted to be the focal point of a team once more, which is what he was building towards before LeBron James’ return to Cleveland in 2014.

According to former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, the reason why Irving left the Cavaliers last summer was because he was not allowed to be the Scottie Pippen to LeBron James’ Michael Jordan. He believes they could have existed together, but James didn’t need him.

Griffin said, via The Ringer: “[He] had been carrying the load offensively for a bad team … [but] hadn’t been given the opportunity [to lead] yet, and just when we’re gonna be good, LeBron shows up and it’s his team. So he never got the chance to take the natural progression in his career where he had to try to carry the load and see how good he could be. And he really wanted that.”

“He’d been doing it on a bad team. He wanted a chance to do it on a good team. And it wasn’t about being the man—it’s: ‘How good can I be? What am I capable of? LeBron can score; he doesn’t need me to score. LeBron can make all the passes; he doesn’t need me to do that. I’m not a better defender than he is.’

“So I think you get to the point where the fit and the need LeBron had for Kyrie wasn’t going to allow him to become Scottie because he didn’t need Kyrie to fill in the gaps, necessarily.

“Now … would it have been better if they could’ve tricked each other into recognizing, ‘Hey, look, just make it until we get to the Finals and then you take over?’ Yeah, that would’ve been great, but I just don’t think that’s a very realistic outcome when you’re talking about guys as talented as those guys.”

Irving has since ended his first season with the Celtics averaging 24.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. That’s even with missing out on the last 15 games of the season due to knee soreness.

The Celtics and the Cavaliers will now play against each other in the Eastern Conference Finals, with Game 1 taking place this Sunday. However, the point guard will not be playing after he was ruled him out of the NBA playoffs due to his knee soreness which required surgery.

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