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."
24 de marzo 2018
|Giants lose Bumgarner, Samardzija to injuries days before season opener|
|Dybala and Icardi World Cup chances not over yet, says Sampaoli|
|Reed dumps Spieth out, Harman accounts for McIlroy|
|James: Colombia can´t get carried away with France win|
|Italy to wait on Verratti injury|
|Lopetegui happy with Spain showing against ´physically stronger´ Germany|
|Warriors rampant, Weir inspires Edinburgh|
|Messi has had hamstring injury for ´some time´|
|Forward-thinking Southgate makes case for England´s defence|
|McLeish to ring Scotland changes for Hungary clash|
23 de marzo 2018
|Rodrigo dedicates Spain goal to Canizares after death of son|
|France were taught a lesson in aggression by Colombia, says Deschamps|
|Late Simmonds penalty breaks Bath hearts|
|Ronaldo up to third on all-time list after Portugal brace|
|Cowboys boost receiving corps with Allen Hurns signing|
|Tigers cling on to win Elland Road thriller, Saints respond at Hull KR|
|Meunier expects PSG will sack Emery|
|Tony Romo finishes last in PGA Tour debut|
|Germany friendly emotionally important for Brazil - Tite|
|France 2 Colombia 3: Quintero completes stunning comeback in Paris|
|Portugal 2 Egypt 1: Late Ronaldo double stuns Salah-inspired Pharaohs|
|No Messi, no Magic – Sampaoli playing a risky game ignoring Dybala|
|Netherlands 0 England 1: Lingard strikes to ruin Koeman´s debut|
|Scotland 0 Costa Rica 1: McLeish suffers defeat in first game back|
|Argentina 2 Italy 0: Banega & Lanzini win it for Messi-less Albiceleste|
|Germany 1 Spain 1: Muller wonderstrike cancels out Rodrigo opener|
|Curry available to make Warriors return against Hawks|
|Paire ousts out-of-sorts Djokovic in Miami|
|Ibrahimovic: If I want to go to the World Cup, I´m there|
|Michael Bennett indicted for allegedly injuring paraplegic woman|
|Svitolina ends Osaka winning run in Miami|
|Australia not ready for World Cup – Van Marwijk|
|Turkey 1 Republic of Ireland 0: Topal strike downs O´Neill´s men|
|Norway 4 Australia 1: Kamara hat-trick spoils Van Marwijk´s Socceroos bow|
|Aguero to miss Argentina friendlies|
|Monaco rubbish reports Rybolovlev will sell club and buy AC Milan|
|Harman sends McIlroy packing in Austin|
|Messi misses Argentina-Italy game|
|Neuer cautious over comeback date despite taking positive steps|
|Lehmann slams ´disgraceful´ Newlands abuse|
|Di Maria predicts ´big change´ at PSG after Champions League failure|
|Everton defender Holgate warned for alleged homophobic tweets|
|Russia 0 Brazil 3: Coutinho on target in routine win|
|Icardi must keep performing to earn Argentina recall, says Zanetti|
|Different place, same Zlatan - Ibrahimovic determined to maintain winning DNA with LA Galaxy|
|Injured Cavendish out of Commonwealth Games|
|Experience the key for Juventus in title race, insists Trezeguet|
|Stanikzai plays through the pain to guide Afghanistan to glory|
|Lyon and Paine frustrate Proteas after Morkel joins 300 club|
|Messi lacks Maradona´s charisma, claims Batistuta|
|Usain Bolt claims he´ll return to Dortmund|
|Trezeguet confident Pogba will shine at the World Cup|
|Ibrahimovic departs Europe with remarkable haul of league titles|
|´Very, very happy´ Lanzini loves West Ham amid transfer talk|
|LA Galaxy confirm Ibrahimovic arrival|
|Pressure off soaring Falcons, says Flood|
|Afghanistan edge out Ireland to secure World Cup spot|
|Age no barrier to Messi brilliance - Kluivert|
|Japan 1 Mali 1: Late Nakajima strike earns a draw|
|Record-breaking Stockdale named Six Nations´ top player|
|Warner in verbal altercation with fan following dismissal|
|Uruguay 2 Czech Republic 0: Suarez scores 50th international goal|
|I choose the Galaxy! - Ibrahimovic confirms LA switch|
|Retiring Morkel joins the 300 club|
|Parker accuses Joshua of disrespect towards NZ media|
|Roberto Carlos declares Neymar and Brazil the World Cup favourites|
|Kluivert tells son Justin to snub Manchester United for Barcelona|
|It´s hard to swing it when it´s not round - Anderson unhappy with pink ball|
|Reading appoint former Swansea boss Clement|
|I had to get out of my comfort zone - Goretzka explains Bayern switch|