The saga that has engulfed the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past several days continued to expand Tuesday, with LeBron James issuing a tweet expressing his unhappiness with how he has been portrayed in the reporting of teammate Kyrie Irving's request to be traded.
Friday, ESPN reported that Irving had requested a trade and that James was blindsided by the news. Saturday, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said a source in Irving's camp felt that James helped orchestrate the release of news that Irving wanted to be dealt. (ESPN stands by its reporting, which was based on multiple sources.)
On Monday, Smith said on his radio show that sources in James' camp told him James would be tempted to "beat [Kyrie's] ass," regarding Irving's trade request and the report that Irving's camp feels James was behind the release of the information.
That prompted James to take to Twitter on Tuesday, writing:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 25, 2017
Smith emphatically stood by his previous reporting about James and Irving on his radio show Tuesday afternoon on 98.7 FM ESPN New York.
The back-and-forth continued a trying weekend for the Cavaliers, who face the challenge of trading Irving in a market that knows he wants out.
Irving's trade request came earlier this month and was made to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving has said he wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point and that he no longer wants to play alongside James, sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
Among several possibilities discussed in Irving's meeting with the Cavaliers, the San Antonio Spurs were raised as a preferred destination, league sources told ESPN. Irving said he'd also be willing to join the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources said.