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Cavs news: Ron Harper attributes Kyrie Irving’s trade request to ‘youth, ignorance’

ron harper

The entire basketball world have their eyes on Northeast Ohio. Currently, the phones are ringing off the hook in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ front office as other franchises are calling in to gauge the situation involving Kyrie Irving. The dynamic point guard requested a trade, and ever since, it has been a chess game between the Cavs and potential suitors as the former world champions are exploring every option and scenario to maximize a trade for the Duke product.

The Phoenix Suns have been the most active in their approach to lure Irving away from Quicken Loans Arena, but to no avail as of yet. The deals on the table appear interesting on face value, but none are significant enough to overcome the firm stance that the Cavaliers hold, which is to receive the suitable pieces for their star.

Since the news was broken to the public, there has been an ongoing conversation by numerous NBA players and personalities about the situation. The response has been overwhelming, as basically all have stated they don’t understand why Irving would want to pack up and leave the Cavs, after appearing in three straight NBA Finals after previously not even making the playoffs.

The latest individual from the NBA community to chime in is former Cavs’ player Ron Harper. Harper was selected eighth overall in the 1986 NBA Draft by the Cavaliers. He played four seasons with the team where he averaged 19.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.3 steals, and a block per game. The five-time champion has strong ties to Cleveland and everything to do with the Cavs.

Harper was asked about his feelings towards Irving requesting a trade, and he didn’t hesitate in outlaying exactly what he thought via Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal.

“It’s youth, ignorance.”

“When I used to play on bad teams and you trained all off-season to play 82 games, you get to the first round and you lose. You’re guaranteed to play till June. The East is good, but you know that you’re the best basketball team,” Harper said. “I don’t really understand what’s behind it.

“Young. Youth. Kids … listen, the inmates are in charge. So when the inmates are in charge, nothing but bad things can happen, right?”

Harper went on to outline that due to Irving still being under contract, the Cavs organization still holds all the cards.

“It’s not a guarantee that the Cavaliers are going to trade him to a good team,” Harper said. “I asked a guy, ‘What happened to the old-school days?’ When a guy asked to get traded, you traded him to the sorriest team. That’s the way it worked.”

He didn’t mince his words when speaking on Irving’s carrying power either.

“It’s always going to be a two- or three-star team,” Harper said of Irving and the Cavs. “You’re never going to be a guy who carries your team. You see when LeBron doesn’t play, you don’t carry the team.”

“It’s never your team. You play for the front of your jersey, your name is on the back of it,” he said. “When you get a chance to win and a chance to be on a good basketball team, you have to take that opportunity. That opportunity doesn’t come around all the time.

“You’re on a team that’s been to the NBA Finals the last three seasons. How many guys get there? How many guys would kill to be him? If you go talk to most superstars that quote ‘had their own team’ that don’t get to the playoffs, ask them how they feel.”

Harper also discussed the relationship between Cavaliers leader LeBron James and Irving.

“It’s never your team. You play for the front of your jersey, your name is on the back of it,” he said. “When you get a chance to win and a chance to be on a good basketball team, you have to take that opportunity. That opportunity doesn’t come around all the time.

“You’re on a team that’s been to the NBA Finals the last three seasons. How many guys get there? How many guys would kill to be him? If you go talk to most superstars that quote ‘had their own team’ that don’t get to the playoffs, ask them how they feel.”

Finally, the five-time champion was having absolutely none of the potential of James leaving next off-season as an excuse for the trade request.

“We all know LeBron may leave in a year. But that’s a year from now,” Harper said. “We all know Golden State is going to be in the NBA championship, and we know LeBron James’ team is going to be in the NBA championship.

“[Irving] should be very happy to be in Cleveland.”

It looks as though we can definitely add Harper to the ever-growing list of NBA personalities that don’t agree with what Irving has decided. Harper made some excellent points and in truth, it’s hard to argue against what he is saying.

Irving is still a Cavalier for now, but his days could be numbered. As each day passes with no signs of him changing his mind, it could be only a matter of time before he calls a new city home.

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