LeBron James on Kyrie Irving: 'We're in a Good Place Right Now' After Phone Call

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2019

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, right, tries to get past Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 102-99. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James commented Saturday on a recent phone conversation he had with Boston Celtics guard and former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving.

According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, James spoke positively about his current relationship with Irving: "Yeah, we're in a good place right now. Me and Kyrie are in a good place right now. I love the man that he's becoming, I love the challenges he's accepted and I always wish the best for him."

Last month, Irving revealed that he called LeBron to apologize for the way he acted at times during their tenure as teammates in Cleveland:

"Obviously, this was a big deal for me, because I had to call [LeBron] and tell him I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold. I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people.

"[LeBron] was one of those guys who came to Cleveland and tried to show us how to win a championship, and it was hard for him, and sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world."

Irving placed the call after speaking critically about some of his Celtics teammates and blaming a losing streak on inexperience within the team.

Cavs forward Kevin Love told Vardon that he was having dinner with James when Irving placed the call.

The trio of James, Irving and Love led the Cavaliers to their greatest run of success in team history.

After teaming with James to take the Cavs to three straight NBA Finals and bringing Cleveland its first NBA championship, Kyrie requested a trade prior to the 2017-18 season, reportedly because of his desire to play outside of LeBron's shadow.

The Cavs granted his request and traded him to Boston in a move that shook up the Eastern Conference significantly.

Cleveland still reached the NBA Finals last season by beating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games, but it was swept in the Finals by the Golden State Warriors.

James then signed with the Lakers during the offseason, which leaves Love as the lone Big Three holdover.

All three players are struggling to some degree this season.

Irving's Celtics are underperforming with a fifth-place standing in the Eastern Conference, the Lakers are two games out of a playoff spot in the West with James missing significant time because of a groin injury and the Cavs are one of the NBA's worst teams at 11-42.

A reunion between James and Irving seems unlikely, but with their relationship seemingly repaired and Irving set to hit free agency during the offseason, it may not be an impossibility.