Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ron Harper cited “youth” and “ignorance” as two big reasons for Kyrie Irving’s offseason trade request.
Harper was speaking to the Akron Beacon Journal from the Bridgestone Golf Tournament on Sunday.
“When I used to play on bad teams and you trained all off-season to play 82 games, you get to the first round and you lose. You’re guaranteed to play till June. The East is good, but you know that you’re the best basketball team,” Harper said. “I don’t really understand what’s behind it.”
Harper continued: “Young. Youth. Kids … listen, the inmates are in charge. So when the inmates are in charge, nothing but bad things can happen, right?”
Harper, 53, was drafted by the Cavs with the No. 8 overall pick back in 1986. He eventually was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in the somewhat infamous Danny Ferry deal.
Harper went on to win a total of five championships in runs with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. His career spanned 15 years.
Meanwhile, Irving requested a trade from the Cavs following the team’s third straight trip to the NBA Finals. The reason? Irving reportedly wants to get out from under the large shadow cast by Akron native and Cavs superstar LeBron James.
The Cavs are currently trying to grant Irving his wish.
“It’s not a guarantee that the Cavaliers are going to trade him to a good team,” Harper told the Beacon Journal. “I asked a guy, ‘What happened to the old-school days?’ When a guy asked to get traded, you traded him to the sorriest team. That’s the way it worked.”
Other players far and wide have commented on the Irving situation. Most are like Harper and seem somewhat confused.
“It’s always going to be a two- or three-star team,” Harper said. “You’re never going to be a guy who carries your team. You see when LeBron doesn’t play, you don’t carry the team.”