Kyrie Irving is a 2014 all-star. He was a 2013 all-star. These two actualities are equal, but the thrill is gone this year. While all-star status always imbues a certain prestige or legitimacy on a player’s season, this go-round it has come on the back of a war of attrition rather than a pyroclastic announcement of intent. Kyrie Irving and the Cavs are sputtering around aimlessly, similar to last year, but trajectory and expectations have created a different environment. With Kyrie at the center of the team, his all-star selection served as a natural jumping in point for writers to consider the intertwined struggles of Irving and the Cavs.
Most prominent was Jason Lloyd’s scorching referendum at the Akron Beacon-Journal. In the piece he takes Irving to task for being overly concerned with his brand and image at the expense of improvement. He calls Kyrie immature and details how he acts as if he is above the team and thus shielded from rational criticism, which could theoretically help the Cavs unmire themselves. Irving deflects, blaming his struggles on team defense or entropy but Lloyd does have a valid point. Kyrie has been aloof for a while.