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Jerry Sullivan's Power Take: Kyrie Irving more about his brand than winning

So Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland. He's eager to escape from LeBron James's shadow. He's tired of James dominating the ball and the organization. He wants to play for a franchise that's built around him.

Reports say Irving wants to "grow his career". Never mind that playing with James got him to three straight NBA Finals. You'd think that did something for his growth. But personal brand is vital in today's star-driven NBA; in Kyrie's case, it's evidently more important than winning.

Irving will get more shots and endorsements with most other teams. But he's kidding himself if he thinks he'll have an equal chance to win a title. Unless he goes to the Warriors, Irving will diminish his chances to win another championship in the short term.

Say what you will about LeBron, he's one of the great team players ever. He doesn't care how many shots he takes -- Irving took more last season -- or how much he scores. James has been to seven straight NBA Finals. That's his brand.

Irving is the best one-on-one player in the league, a rare offensive talent. But the Cavs are 3-13 when he plays and James doesn't. He's a weak defender. He's not the cornerstone of a champion. If the Cavs trade him, he'll find out soon enough.

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