As a counter to this, some will point to the Spurs’ acquisition of LaMarcus Aldridge, and how that has not quite met expectations. But if there have been any issues in that arrangement, it is not because Leonard hasn’t given Aldridge a chance to be assertive. It’s because Aldridge hasn’t taken him up on it.
That about sums up everything I have written about LMA. Emphasis mine.
I’ve heard that some players think Kawhi is a “system” guy whose success is dependent on the scheme, that a handful of other guys would be doing the same were they in his situation. This is a version of something even guys that are big fans of the organization have said, including Stephen Jackson.
Bob Horry even went so far to say that established players need to dumb down their game to play in San Antonio.
The thing to take from all this is that 1. This system isn’t for everyone. 2. Everyone isn’t for this system. The players that want to do the things to win value organizations that do so consistently. While Kyrie Irving looks like he is fleeing the greatest player of this generation for some substandard situation, he actually is taking control of his fate: LeBron is not long for Cleveland (because Dan Gilbert is a clown) and Irving wants some place where he can do his thing without uncertainty. San Antonio may not be ideal for his ego, but it is a model of consistency.
The NBA’s silly season just got sillier, as Brian Windhorst reported that Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland. This news is amazing in and of itself, and if Kyrie gets his wish before next June we can give up any hope of seeing a competitive NBA Finals matchup whatsoever.
What made it even more intriguing for we San Antonio Spurs followers was this from Woj:
Well then. The Spurs have had a relatively disappointing offseason and are mired in their own Trade Me saga in LaMarcus Aldridge. Kyrie is certainly no Chris Paul but he is the type of super star scorer the team only has one of. Winning in this league requires more than one guy nowadays, and getting one of the guys that partnered up to eliminate the Warriors would be a great step toward achieving that next year.
This is all part of a larger drama that stems back from the pre-LBJ-Return days, according to Windhorst, and exacerbated by the incompetency of one Dan “Comic Sans” Gilbert. David Griffin held it together and helped build a title-winning team and now he is gone and everything is falling apart.
The multifaceted question: Should the Spurs try for Kyrie?
The exceedingly simple answer: Hell yes.
There is a lot to consider, including whether Kahwi would be cool with deferring offensively to Kyrie, whether the Spurs care about that. It is all speculative at this point but I do not think the Cavs would be happy with LaMarcus Aldridge and change for Kyrie Freaking Irving. But then again, who knows what is going on with that team.
Well the Spurs aren’t dead yet. They also aren’t stopping a guy like Kyrie Irving last night. He dropped 57, including 7/7 from Three Land. Of all his shots, the most ridiculous was the falling-away triple as part of his personal 9-0 run to close out the game.
Here, for posterity, is more of that ridiculousness.
I am wary of this new Shaq-spouted idea that Kawhi isn’t clutch or some such. Sure, his two missed free throws leading to the Kyrie game-tying shot were big. So was Tony Parker’s missed jumper. Leonard got the rebound and was fouled. Where’s Tony’s tsk tsk?
I understand the desire to put everything onto our best player, but basketball remains a team game.“LeBron” got a win over “Timmy” because Kyrie dropped a ridiculous 57-point bomb on the Spurs. See how ridiculous that sounds?
Tonight the Spurs all but won that game. In the regular season that is okay, in the playoffs it will be a different monster. Kyrie was good preperation for the equally riculous, fellow-three-point champ Steph Curry.
Last night we saw some great basketball players go all-out against each other. The rules say someone has to lose. It was the Spurs.
I’m not even mad about last night. I’m impressed, actually.
Here’s to more great basketball.