The 3 main beat writers (Dave McMenamin-ESPN, Joe Vardon-Cleveland.com, and Jason Lloyd-The Athletic) that covered the Cavs over the past 4 years just did a podcast together, giving an inside look at the Cavs team and the relationships between the players.
Apparently when LeBron was in Miami, he told Kyrie about his possible return to Cleveland, and Kyrie wasn't feeling it.
Some more from the podcast below:
- Kyrie never made strong relationships within the Cavs organization/FO, both before and while LeBron was in CLE. Kyrie didn't like Mike Brown because Larry Hughes, a client of Kyrie's agent, already had a bad relationship with Brown. There was also serious debate within the Cavs to choose Dion Waiters over Kyrie at one point.
- Kyrie didn't like Lue very much, especially after Ty Lue told the media that "players need to put their brands aside", meaning Love and Kyrie need to stop worrying about endorsements and trust LeBron to lead the team. Ty Lue admitted to Dave McMenamin that Kyrie has treated him like a stranger since day 1 and that it is 'impossible to break through to him'. (which may have been why Kyrie made those remarks this year about coaching styles)
- Kyrie did not appreciate LeBron questions directed at him. McMenamin was writing a story about LeBron's improved 3 point shot but Kyrie was annoyed when he approached him about any noticeable changes in LeBron's technique. The media also made a deal about LeBron wearing the "I can't breathe" shirts, despite Kyrie being the first Cav to wear it. All 3 reporters believe this clearly bothered Kyrie.
- Lloyd approached Lebron at the start of this past season and told him that 'you and Kyrie hid the poor status of the relationship very well the past few years' and LeBron agreed (although Lloyd could not reveal the exact quote)
- Kyrie and his camp considered leaving after the championship but decided otherwise. Kyrie's father wanted a bigger role in the organization and did not appreciate LeBron's friend, Randy Mims, having a position within the organization.
- A big reason why Kyrie wanted out of CLE last year is because he felt the team was built to support LeBron's strengths, and if LeBron left, Kyrie would only be left with those parts that benefitted LeBron's game. Kyrie also told FO that he would opt for surgery if they didn't trade him last year.
- The flat earth drama really bothered Kyrie. Didn't like that he was receiving attention now instead of about more serious topics (political and social) like Lebron
- LeBron and Love's relationship was rocky in the very first year because Love came to camp out of shape.
- Kyrie did not talk to any of his teammates between last years Indiana and Toronto series. Not even during practices.
- The most dejected the reporters have ever seen LeBron after a game was after Game 6 Finals in 2015. Lebron sat at his locker for about an hour with a towel over his head. The second most dejected was after Game 1 this year. After winning two Game 7's, hitting 2 buzzer beaters, beating higher seeds, with a new team and without Kyrie, scoring 51 points against the Warriors, all the air went out of him.
- LeBron did not just hit the whiteboard once. He bashed at it several times.
- The JR Smith soup throwing story is one of ESPN'S top 10 stories of the year. They believe the thing that started the drama may have just been simple teasing or a shooting competition that escalated
- Wade played a major role in the mid-season team meeting. Cavs felt like locker room was irreparable after that and was a reason he was shipped back to Miami
- LeBron would always talk to McMenamin about LA (Hotspots and restaurants), as Dave used to cover the Lakers. Lloyd joked with LeBron throughout the year about him leaving after this season but LeBron genuinely seemed unsure of his decision
- Cavs had two players on their radar during the draft. Trae Young, who Gilbert wanted, and Sexton who most of the organization wanted. They had considered Porter until his medical records came out.
- They all believe that after hearing Klay's post-Game 4 remarks about basketball being a "man's game" and that LeBron must have "gotten his feelings hurt", LeBron's demeanor shifted entirely and was the turning point of the 2016 Finals. Lebron was in a good mood during shootaround that morning until he heard about those comments.