An ESPN reporter interviewed Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving on May 18. Irving got confused when she asked him about four-time MVP LeBron James' parental or father figure role in his development.
Does Kyrie Irving really look up to LeBron James as a father figure?
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This was what an unidentified ESPN reporter asked Irving after the Cleveland Cavaliers' practice for the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks on May 18.
Irving responded as follows:
"Honestly..I don't really know how to answer that question.
"He's been a...He's been a great leader for us. I have one father. It's my dad, Drederick Irving.
"But for us, in terms of learning to watch the game and how to win on the court and also how to carry ourselves off the court, I feel he (James) has been a great influence in that role."
On the same day, The Northeast Ohio Media Group's Joe Vardon asked James how his relationship with Irving has developed until this point in the season:
"If you don't know someone, it's hard for you to trust. It's just like if you transfer schools and you go to a new school and you sit in the classroom with classmates you just don't know, you don't trust them.
"And as the school year goes along, you start to get to know your classmates, you start to answer questions for them and read paragraphs for them and things of that nature, you start to trust them. That's just exactly how a team is when you're first put together."
Irving dropped a hint on Monday there was a "wall" between him and James that has since disappeared, per The Northeast Ohio Media Group:
"We take full advantage of each other's time whenever anything is on our mind we're able to talk to each other now. At the beginning of the year I probably couldn't have said the same thing. It's taken time.
"Obviously there's a wall that's up with everyone. I feel like we've knocked down that wall over the last few months and now we're leading this team the right way."
As proof of their improved relationship, James and Irving worked out together on Monday. Vardon says the two shot free throws and three-pointers together. Both made most of their threes, but Irving came out on top as he drilled an astonishing 80 percent of his attempts.
This is quite a difference from their relationship early during the season.
According to Vardon, James made it plain and clear to Irving he wants to get at least one assist in every game after the latter scored 34 points but failed to record a single assist in early November.
In another development, Irving told James to shoot more after the latter had 19 points in the Cavs' Game 1 loss to the Chicago Bulls in the second round. James scored 33 points in the very next game on the road, per The Northeast Ohio Media Group.
With this, Irving told Vardon the trust factor between him and James has soared to new heights:
"There's a trust factor there that you've got to go through different obstacles, different ups and downs with one another that build trust. Then when things get tough we know what to expect out of each other.
"We know what gives each other a reaction, what gets us going and how to motivate each other in hard situations."
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