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Stephen A. Smith: Kyrie Irving would ‘prefer to be somewhere other than Cleveland’

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The Cleveland Cavaliers had another one of those games on Sunday night against the Wizards. It’s as if, on any random night, the Eastern Conference leaders just take the night off, opting to cruise through 48 minutes instead of trying to prove they have what it will take to battle with a team like Golden State in the NBA Finals – granted, that’s a daunting task.

The Wizards beat the Cavs 113-99 on Sunday night, and on Monday morning ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith made waves by saying star guard Kyrie Irving is and has been unhappy with the situation in Cleveland and wants out.

“Dating back to last year, I’ve been told that Kyrie Irving ain’t too happy being in Cleveland,” Smith said on “First Take.” “The situation is not ideal for him. I don’t know the particulars, I haven’t spoken to him personally. It’s something that I’ve been hearing for months, that under ideal circumstances he would prefer to be someplace other than Cleveland.”

Cavs are still struggling to beat toughest East opponent: Themselves

The Cavaliers currently sit at 41-17, and assuming they get up for their playoff games this spring, seem like the one wise choice to represent the East in the Finals. Still, though, Smith’s report about Irving’s unhappiness is a bigger issue.

Similar reports were circulating in 2014, but, it had seemed, Lebron James’s return to Cleveland had quelled such concerns. Maybe not.

Irving, 23, is averaging 18.9 points, 4.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game this year for the Cavaliers, who have lost three of four.