Kyrie Irving wanted to be "the man" with a new team outside of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now that he has his chance, it is time to prove his actual worth, according to Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.
Irving dropped a bombshell on the Cavs when he asked for a trade as he eventually joined Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Celtics.
The All-Star reportedly requested a trade because he no longer wanted to play with LeBron James. While the request shocked many in the NBA, two-time championship winner Green was not stunned.
"I wouldn't necessarily say it surprised me. I would say more than anything, it's the respect level I have for him," Green said.
"That's tough to do. I don't think people take into account that he put so much pressure on himself by doing that. But the willingness to do that, knowing the pressure that comes with that and saying, 'I'm ready to do it; let's do it.' That's what stood out to me more than anything."
Irving was a part of a team in Cleveland that won the 2016 NBA title and went to three consecutive NBA Finals against the Warriors from 2015-2017.
He averaged 21.6 points per game in his six-year career with the Cavaliers, but made the playoffs in only three of those years, which began when James returned to the Cavs.
"Most people would probably say, 'LeBron is the greatest player in the world,'" Green said. "I don't say this in disrespect to LeBron. But speaking of Kyrie, to say, 'I don't want to play with him no more. I want to do my own thing.'
"You have to deliver with that. He's basically saying, 'I'm ready to deliver.' That's big. That says a lot."
While defending champions the Warriors have kept their core players together, the Cavs, the Celtics, the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder have all revamped their rosters with incoming All-Stars.
Green said the NBA only has James to thank for the roster "arms race."
"LeBron made it OK. I think he opened up a new door for guys. He gave guys a voice and willing to use that voice," Green said of James going to the Miami Heat, then moving back to Cleveland.
"To take careers into your own hands and go where you feel you want to go. Obviously, there are rules in place to try to stop it. But you have the power to do what you want to do. That's a special thing. If anything, he opened guys eyes on what you can possibly do."
17 de enero 2018
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|Johnson back to his best after Augusta accident|
|Liverpool loan Grujic to Cardiff|
|Centurion hero Ngidi aiming high|
|Mbappe: More to come from Neymar & Cavani partnership|
|Messi the greatest ever despite no World Cup win, insists Di Maria|
|Uncapped Larmour named in Ireland´s Six Nations squad|
|Villa determined to earn place in Spain´s World Cup squad|
|Walcott swaps Arsenal for Everton|
|Kohli bristles at selection questions|
|England forward Haskell handed four-week suspension|
|You even learn from Guardiola at home - Otamendi lauds Pep impact|
|Three-week ban for Bastareaud for alleged homophobic slur|
|IOC to consider joint Korean ice hockey team|
|Sri Lanka ODI woes drag on with Zimbabwe defeat|
|Batsmen let India down against South Africa - Kohli|
|Five fun facts as LeBron James chases 30K career points|
|Bastareaud named in France squad ahead of disciplinary hearing|
|Otamendi pens Man City deal to 2022|
|Neymar leads tributes to retiring Ronaldinho|
|Ronaldo must focus on playing - Zidane sidesteps exit talk|
|Dimitrov, Tsonga survive gruelling battles as Nadal cruises through|
|Carey ton sends Strikers back top of BBL|
|Zidane still an idol for James despite ´sad´ Madrid exit|
|Stoger will stay at Dortmund if ´everything fits´|
|Nadal backs move for financial parity but silent on boycott talk|
|Stokes available for England selection, set for NZ return|
|Bordeaux´s Malcom facing disciplinary action over social media video|
|Debutant Ngidi hurries SA to series win as India crumble in Centurion|
|Eddie Jones signs new England contract|
|Ronaldinho retires – The greatest Brazilians to play for Barcelona|
|England setting the benchmark in ODIs, says Warner|
|Federer would be unreal at any sport - Shapovalov|
|Athletic reward Williams with contract until 2025|
|Nadal too good for Mayer at Australian Open|
|Jones taking unlikely inspiration from City in United´s title pursuit|
|I had one foot out of the Australian Open – Wozniacki revels in fightback|
|Beware the nearly beaten in Melbourne – Wozniacki could match Kerber, Li|
|Rallying Tsonga outlasts Shapovalov in five-set epic|
|Wozniacki saves two match points in dramatic Aus Open comeback|
|Kostyuk, 15, ready to spend after Melbourne run|
|Thomas turns down Celtics´ video tribute|
|Moyes unaware of Chelsea interest in Carroll|
|Verdi wants Bologna stay amid Napoli links|
|Ronaldinho retires – A shining light of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Ronaldinho retires – a World Cup and Ballon d´Or among Brazil great´s prizes|
|Celtics great White dead at 71|
|World Cup glory and Bernabeu magic - Ronaldinho´s best moments for Barca and Brazil|
|Trust the Process – 76ers only behind Warriors and Cavs in merchandise sales|
|Ligue 1 Review: Balotelli at the double as Payet shines and Malcom toils|
|Pato still dreaming of World Cup selection|
|FA Cup Review: Iheanacho makes VAR history, kit confusion reigns|
16 de enero 2018
|Wallaby saves wallaby: Farr-Jones in Sydney Harbour Bridge rescue mission|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: PSG, Man City drive record-breaking spending|
|Conte packing in homework as Chelsea games stack up|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: The headlines in transfers, wages and revenues|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: Manchester United record highest revenue but largest debt|
|Monaco stay perfect, Murcia overcome Oldenburg|
|Iheanacho scores English football´s first VAR goal|
|Materazzi not surprised by Coutinho transfer fee|
|Ronaldinho retires - Brazil and Barca great plans 2018 farewell|
|Jags RB Leonard Fournette uninjured in three-car accident|
|India revenge would heal Proteas´ scars - Elgar|
|Koziello swaps Nice for Cologne|
|Simeone ready to unleash Costa and Vitolo alongside Griezmann|
|Head coach Cooper to leave Stade Francais|
|Silverwood plays down talk of replacing Bayliss|
|Lambert ´never thought´ he would return to Premier League|
|Wenger ´very aggressive´ towards referee Dean, says FA report|
|Reported Arsenal target Malcom starts for Bordeaux vs Caen|