LeBron James 'Tempted to Beat' Kyrie Irving's 'Ass,' Says Stephen A. Smith

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2017

BOSTON, MA - MAY 17:  LeBron James #23 and Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talk in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The relationship between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving continues to devolve, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

Speaking on his podcast Monday, Smith quoted sources in James' camp about how bad things have gotten.

"If Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass," the source told Smith.

He clarified that James' biggest problem isn't that Irving requested a trade, but instead that he's being made out to be a bad teammate during the recent debacle.

Irving reportedly requested a trade on July 7, and according to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Cavaliers intend to follow his wishes. A trade is considered "almost inevitable" with the point guard wanting to join either the Timberwolves, Spurs, Heat or Knicks.

Meanwhile, Smith noted that Irving's camp is upset at James for reportedly leaking information about the trade request to the media.

The two All-Stars have played together in Cleveland for the past three years, reaching the NBA Finals each season while winning one title in 2016. However, the teammates apparently aren't ready to play another year side by side.

With ESPN's Chris Haynes reporting James' unwillingness to waive his no-trade clause over the course of next season, a trade involving Irving appears to be the only way out of this ugly situation.