• Irving plays down Cavs quit report

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    LOS ANGELES: Kyrie Irving has scotched reports that he is unhappy at the Cleveland Cavaliers and is seeking a move away from the NBA giants.

    The All-Star point guard insisted he remains firmly focused on winning a championship with Cleveland, where he has had a frequently tense relationship with LeBron James.

    “Obviously there’s going to be some misunderstandings; it’s part of being on a team,” Irving said after Monday’s victory over the Indiana Pacers.

    “For me, as a maturing young player in this league, I know what we have and the opportunity we have in order to be something special.

    “My communication is open with all of my teammates, just knowing what’s going on and how I feel about things.”

    A report on Monday said Irving had told friends he hoped to leave Cleveland. But Irving dismissed the speculation about his future as idle chatter.

    “All that other stuff, what everyone is going to say, they’re going to pick one player, it’s going to change every single week. When they think that we’re down and out, they’re going to choose one player, so, for me, it has no effect on my life or what’s going on. It’s all about winning and winning a championship for Cleveland,” Irving said.

    Irving, 23, clashed with James twice in 2014-2015 during their first season together.

    Irving missed the first few months of this season with a new injury before returning in December.

    James meanwhile has also moved to dampen speculation surrounding Irving, paying tribute to this team-mate’s 22-point performance in Monday’s 100-96 win over the Pacers.

    “You go 11-for-11 from the free throw line like Kyrie did and you lead the team to a victory. Those are just talks and reports,” James said.

    “I’ve been around it so long, I don’t really get involved with it too much. We have a big point in our season right now. We need to continue to get better and get ready for the postseason.

    “I don’t think it affected Kyrie or affected our team.”

    AFP

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