Prior to the news confirming Kyrie Irving will miss the rest of the NBA Finals, a report emerged that there was tension growing between his representatives.
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Irving was diagnosed with a fractured knee cap on Friday which effectively ended his playoffs and will sideline him for the next three or four months before he can return to basketball activity.
His absence will be a significant blow for Cleveland who are already without Kevin Love, and so the pressure will be on LeBron James more so to drag his team forward and overturn their 1-0 deficit.
However, the story that attracted plenty of attention on Friday was the alleged clash between the Cavs and Irving’s agent and father, as they have all been left questioning whether or not the point guard’s injury has been handled correctly.
The 23-year-old has been struggling with knee tendinitis for almost six weeks, and after missing time throughout the post-season he logged significant minutes on Thursday night.
“There’s been some tension between these two sides for weeks now. Irving’s father and Wechsler, sources said, have been preaching caution with Irving and this knee issue,” Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports.
“Naturally, they are focused on his long-term health and have concern that playing on a weakened knee — what the Cavs have said publicly was a bad case of tendinitis — could put him at risk of suffering a greater injury. Going to see Andrews was part of the entire group’s efforts to get a full handle on what Irving was facing and get independent advice on the situation.”
It was undoubtedly a difficult situation to manage given that Cleveland were balancing their desire to win a championship with protecting one of their star players that has a huge future ahead of him.
However, the decision has now been made as Irving will play no part in the rest of the NBA Finals which in turn will lead to even more difficult questions in the coming weeks between the concerned parties.