- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Never one to mince words, NBA Hall of Famer and analyst Charles Barkley called Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving “stupid” for requesting a trade last month.

“You want to be on a good team. You want to play with other great players. This notion where you want to be the man, I just think is so stupid,” Barkley said during an interview on NBA TV. “If I got a chance to play with another great player, I want to do that. The objective is to win.”

According to reports, Irving has grown tired of playing in the shadow of LeBron James, and wants to forge his own legacy elsewhere.

However, as Barkley noted, success in the NBA often means playing alongside a superstar and accepting all that comes with it.

“When he [Kyrie] was on a bad team and he was the man, I guarantee you that wasn’t a lot of fun for him,” the 11-time All-Star said. “And now you want to leave the best player in the world. And listen, I hear all of this stuff about how LeBron casts a big shadow. He should cast a big shadow … If you get a chance to play with great players, that’s half the battle.”

Sources indicated that Irving had four preferred trade destinations: the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Minnesota Timberwolves. 

But for Barkley, looking for a new team to lead would be a waste of time if Irving wants to succeed.

“Right now, there’s only two, three, maybe four legitimate teams in the NBA,” he said. “If you’re not on one of those four or five teams, you’re really just wasting your time for seven months. So I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to play with LeBron. Listen, I wanna play with LeBron now!”

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