LeBron denies reported role in Irving saga

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.

During talks, Billups knew Irving was unhappy

Chauncey Billups said in an interview Tuesday that he knew Kyrie Irving was unhappy while Billups was interviewing for the Cavaliers’ president job last month.

  • Sources: LeBron hands-off in Cavs’ Irving call

    LeBron James has told the Cavaliers he is focused on his offseason workout regimen and is planning to report to training camp with the intention of leading his teammates to a fourth consecutive Finals no matter who those teammates are, sources told ESPN.

  • Friday, ESPN reported that Irving had requested a trade and that James was blindsided by the news. Saturday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said that 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 that 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:

    Smith emphatically stood by his previous reporting about James and Irving on his radio show Tuesday afternoon on ESPN New York 98.7.

    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 that 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.

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