LeBron James disappointed Lakers did not trade for Kyrie Irving, citing ‘great chemistry’

By | February 6, 2023

LeBron James has weighed in on the Kyrie Irving trade.

In a conversation with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, James made it clear that he was “disappointed” the Lakers didn’t acquire Irving from the Nets, but he says his focus has already shifted.

“Well, definitely disappointing,” James said. “I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed on not being able to land such a talent, but someone that I had great chemistry with — I know I’ve got great chemistry with on the floor — that can help you win championships, in my mind, in my eyes.

“But my focus has shifted now. My focus has shifted back to where it should be, and that’s this club now and what we have in the locker room.”

MORE: Breaking down the fit between Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic

News broke on Feb. 3 that Irving had requested a trade from the Nets ahead of this season’s trade deadline. Three days later, it was reported that the Nets had traded Irving and Markieff Morris to the Mavericks for Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a first-round pick and two second-round picks.

MORE: Full trade details | Trade grades | LeBron’s instant reaction

The Lakers were among the teams said to be interested in Irving after he requested a trade. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers and Nets even discussed possible deals for Irving on Friday and Saturday, but the Mavericks’ package ultimately “gave the Nets a better chance to surround Kevin Durant with players now — as well as the opportunity to acquire three draft picks, sources said.”

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Lakers offered a package of Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks for Irving. The Nets responded by asking for “all of their young players such as Austin Reaves and Max Christie and pick swaps.”

MORE: Why Lakers were unable to complete Kyrie Irving trade with Nets

James and Irving were teammates on the Cavaliers for three seasons. They went to the Finals each season and won a championship in historic fashion in 2015-16.