Irving could consider his pairing with LeBron James, a player so special his talents demanded future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade transition from Alpha to Beta, to be a hardship. He chooses to see it as an apprenticeship of sorts.
,” he says. “We all understand that as basketball fans, we want to see LeBron play for 10 more years and I would love to see that. I would love to play with Bron for 10 more years.”
But James, in his 14th season and about to turn 32, doesn’t have another decade of hoops in him. Like his idol, Kobe Bryant, lusted for a chance to compete free from Shaquille O’Neal’s shadow, Irving will get his chance to operate without James. Rather than resent James for holding him back — where some would say Bryant failed his partnership with O’Neal — Irving is embracing the example that’s being set.
Does your fantasy basketball team need some work? Here are our top free-agent picks among players widely available on waivers in ESPN leagues.
Mike D’Antoni’s ability to reinvent James Harden and the Houston attack has been a standout performance so far this season.
His 23.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1 SPG and 4.8 3PG over the past five games moves LaVine all the way up to 32 on this week’s rankings, up seven spots from a week ago.
Joining LaVine among the big risers this week are Mason Plumlee (78), Enes Kanter (97) Cody Zeller (111) and Tyler Johnson (121).
“If you’re going to stay consistent and you’re going to really stay true to who you are, then you have to be that all the time. No matter if it’s good, bad, ugly or beautiful; you got to stay the same no matter what. Never get too high, never get too low as cliché as it sounds. You never want to be, what is that, a (blood pressure) graph when you’re in the hospital where it goes, ‘BEEP’ and it goes up and down? That’s not the life I want to live. I want to stay consistent and have a steady breathing pattern and just keep on trucking through life despite what’s going on.”