A year ago, Dion Waiters was a punchline.
He’d been a one-and-done picked high in the NBA draft who honestly believed he was the best player on the floor no matter who else was out there. He fought Kyrie Irving for control of the ball. (Irving is no stranger to controversies over spherical items.) He hilariously called for the ball when LeBron James had it in Cleveland, or Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook had it in Oklahoma City.
He looked too strident — like a kid with too much faith in his raw natural talent and not enough faith in hard work. Paying his dues and fitting in around superior players was not Waiters’ game. Being Dion Waiters was Waiters’ game.
Let’s backtrack: We know Irving has requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. We know that trade will probably happen, although of the many potential destinations, none are perfect fits. We understand, more or less, that Irving’s request comes from his fatigue of playing under James’ shadow and a desire to star on his own team.
On Monday, Stephen A. Smith returned from vacation and said this on his Tampa Bay Lightning Cheap Jerseys ESPN radio show. (The quote in question is at the 20-minute mark of that link.)
“I’ve had sources in LeBron James’ camp literally tell me, and I’m quoting—I’m Wholesale Jerseys China quoting, Charles!—if Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted, quote, to beat his ass, end quote.”