Kyrie Irving played right into the millennial stereotype when discussing his desire to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers on ESPN’s First Take.
The Kyrie Irving interview on ESPN’s First Take was hard to watch. In three-way split screen that made for an awkward interview, between Kyrie, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.
Uncle Drew dodged questions better than he does evading haters on the Pepsi courts.
Ok, the headline. I’m technically a millennial. The generation mostly gets a bad rap. But I have cousins, nieces and nephews right in thick of the generation everyone loves to pick on, yet I have no doubt, they will go on to do great things.
And the people who love cracking the line, “Those millennials,” are having a field day with Irving’s latest actions.
The former Duke star played right into the millennial sterotype when he tried explaining his demand for a trade, which led to him being acquired by the Boston Celtics, via Amico Hoops.
"“It wasn’t about me not wanting to win. It wasn’t anything about that,” he said. “I want to be extremely, extremely happy in perfecting my craft and that was the only intent I have in all of this. I think it got a lot more attention because everything else started coming out from who would think their important opinion matters most."
Irving, 25, wants to be happy.
Of course we all think it’s ridiculous. Who wouldn’t be happy playing alongside LeBron James in front of 20,000 fans every night and contending for championships.
Here’s where Irving is a millennial in every sense of the word. Like his peers who aren’t professional hoopsters for a living, Irving is calling into the question the way his workplace operates.
The old schoolers hate it. Kyrie wants to be happy. Long time Cleveland media personality Tony Rizzo called Irving’s choice of words a bad look. Most of Cleveland hates it too. On the north shore, you get up, you go to your job, do your time, come home and do it all over again tomorrow. Happiness? No one gives a rip about Joe Schmo’s happiness.
But the idea of transforming the workplace to better suit their individual needs isn’t new to millennials. He’s not the first person to leave a job out because he hated the environment. I was a miserable bank employee at one time before I decided to give it all up for that super lucrative world of sports writing.
But I’m just a dude. He’s Kyrie Irving. He plays a game for a living. He also happens to own the biggest shot in the history of Cleveland sports.
No, not LeBron James. Kyrie Irving did it. And he went back to the Finals last season. And he was probably going to go back to the Finals again in 10 moths.
Card carrying Cavaliers fans are just upset. They feel betrayed by Irving, and it’s understandable. The one superstar who doesn’t want to be a part of super team plays in Cleveland and needs to leave. It’s soooooo Cleveland.
It’s time to comes to term with Irving being a different dude.
To him, the world’s flat, he’s into self sustaining communities and he’d prefer a “happy” lifestyle in the NBA, opposed to competing for more titles to build his legacy.
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He talked wanting to “Improve his craft,” which led to some strange exchange between he and Max Kellerman where Max, in some jumbled way, was trying to ask if he’d rather be happy, than win.
Long term, the Cavs probably made the right call by dealing Irving considering LeBron’s future is up in the air. If Irving would’ve stayed, he’d be playing with just two years left on his current contract.
Would he have re-signed if James leaves? We can assume so, but it’s just that, an assumption.
Perhaps Irving is convinced James will stay, and he decided to chase his happiness elsewhere. Remember, Kyrie never signed up to play with James. He was already under contract when LeBron came home.
So, he’s gone, and happy, and you can hate it for it, but why waste your time? The Cavs still have LeBron and will probably go to the Finals again. Plus their future in a post-LeBron world actually has some sunlight thanks to the acquisition of Brooklyn’s probably lottery pick.