Reports last season that made claims of a rift between Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters and alleged that Irving wanted to leave the Cavaliers put a strain on the point guard, as he tells Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Irving silenced much of the chatter when he agreed to a five-year extension with Cleveland on the first day he could this past July.
“It really got to me,” Irving said of the rumors. “I’m not a big Twitter person and I don’t tweet a lot of my emotions, but last year I was clarifying because there were so many sources. I’m dealing with people coming at my character. Saying I’m detrimental to my teammates and I’m like, ‘Man, that’s not even close to who I am at all.’ It started to get to me because once people start to question the things that you’re doing, and you know you’re not doing them, then it starts to get to you.”
There’s more on the Cavs amid the latest from around the Eastern Conference:
- Dwyane Wade believes Goran Dragic is a fit for the Heat, but even if he re-signs and Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts return healthy for next season, Wade thinks the team would still need to add more to return to contention, as he told Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post.
- Mike Scott is expected to miss four to six weeks with his broken left big toe, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Hawks signed Austin Daye on Saturday to a 10-day contract to help offset the loss. The regular season ends four weeks from this coming Wednesday.
- Kendrick Perkins is enthusiastic about the way he’s fit in with the Cavs and the warm reception his new teammates have given him, as he tells Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). Perkins, who nonetheless added that he misses his former Thunder teammates, will once more hit free agency in the summer.
- Public funding for pro sports facilities is coming under fire from President Obama, who’s proposed eliminating the ability for states and cities to use bonds that are exempt from federal taxes to raise money for construction, reports Elaine S. Povich of Stateline (USA Today link). It’s unclear whether that would affect the Bucks‘ plan, which is based on a “jock tax” that draws from players.