The Cleveland Cavaliers’ locker room has been reality-show-levels of bonkers this season, reportedly in part because of backlash from newly added players—with many signs pointing to Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas.
Crowder drew suspicion when he stepped over a fallen Kevin Love like Allen Iverson over the team’s head coach so many years before; Thomas is reportedly the player most irked by Love’s coming down with an illness days earlier, and has publicly criticized the squad’s practice habits.
But it appears discontent was inevitable whether the Cavs traded for them or not, because the player sent the Boston Celtics’ way for Thomas and Crowder might’ve been more of a cancer: Kyrie Irving was reportedly willing to get elective knee surgery to avoid playing, and intimated as much in tandem with his offseason trade demand.
But according to multiple sources, Irving threatened to sit out the season and have surgery on his knee, convincing Gilbert and Cleveland’s front office that the relationship was not salvageable.
According to sources, Irving needs minor knee surgery as a follow to the procedure he underwent during the 2015 Finals to repair his broken kneecap. It’s not pressing — Irving is averaging 24.5 points and shooting a career-high .477 from the field — but the procedure would ease some of the swelling and day-to-day pain he feels.
Such a procedure is typically done in the offseason, but he threatened to not come to training camp (first reported by ESPN) and then have the procedure during the season, leaving the Cavs without a point guard.
Cold, but it worked out for him. He’s the leading scorer on a better team, record-wise, and Cleveland appears to be spinning out of control.
Could it be that Irving truly is the brain genius he believes he is, and that he could see, back in July, this Cavaliers spiral coming, and that his desire to leave wasn’t about the vanity of being the face of a franchise after all?!