Kyrie Irving Reportedly Had 'Strong Interest' in a Reunion With LeBron James

The dynamic duo brought an NBA title to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

Image via Getty/Kevork Djansezian

Prior to re-signing with the Dallas Mavericks last June, Kyrie Irving had "strong interest" in reuniting with LeBron James, as reported by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Irving made his interest in a reunion known when he appeared courtside for Game 6 of the 2023 Western Conference first-round game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, according to Shelburne. The tandem that brought the first and only NBA championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers embraced and ignited speculation about their interest in playing together once more.

One year prior, the Brooklyn Nets were "actively engaged" in trade talks with the Lakers involving Irving. It appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Kyrie would end up in Los Angeles. Then, the Mavericks stepped in.

With Irving set to become a free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season, Dallas was optimistic about the eight-time All-Star inking an extension, despite the always-lingering possibility of a reunion with James. According to Shelburne, LeBron was "open" to playing alongside his former running mate, but was "careful" about coming across as if he was pushing for a deal to get done.

When Irving returned to see LeBron and the Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, Shelburne describes Los Angeles' stance on pursuing Kyrie as "moot."

After getting swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers would not try to sign Irving, who agreed to a three-year extension with the Mavericks.

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