Iman Shumpert explains why Kyrie Irving left Cleveland



Iman Shumpert doesn’t really think that Kyrie Irving leaving was about a feud with LeBron James.

It was more, he told Complex Sports, just simple math.

“It’s two dudes that need the ball,” he said. “LeBron needs the ball, Kyrie needs the ball. If I get the ball so I can make sure I have my 20 a game, that takes away from LeBron’s 40 that you want LeBron to score.”

Shumpert’s comments reflect pretty closely to what Irving said in his farewell video to fans. He spoke a lot about how he had grown as a player and a person during the start of his career in Cleveland.

“It’s hard to make videos like this because you understand the magnitude of decisions that you make in your life can affect a lot of people all at once,” Irving said. “And when you get to that point and you understand that the best intentions for you and to be in your truth and find out what you really want to do in your life and how you accomplish it.

A short interpretation – one that’s been wildly floated: Irving wants his chance to be the guy – something that he was for a short time as a rookie in Cleveland and then had to surrender as soon as James came back to town. Shumpert also pointed out to Complex about how the team had looked to Irving for scoring in crucial situations – like the huge basket that carried them to a title in 2016.

“We leaned on him a lot,” he said. “We gave that man the ball and everybody went to the left side of the court and we watched Kyrie win the game.”

So it’s not really about saying screw you to LeBron, Shumpert said.

“It’s more of a ‘I learned. We won together.'”

In an interview with For The Win earlier this week, Shumpert said that he didn’t think there were any hard feelings.

I’m sure Ky at some point is going to talk to everybody, the same way he talked to me,” he said. “Ky’s a regular dude. He’s going to compete and he knows we’re going to be out looking for him when we play Boston. It’s all fine.”

See the whole Complex Sports interview here.

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