Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has found an unlikely ally in Scottie Pippen, who spent most of his NBA career playing as second fiddle to Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls. During an episode of ESPN’s “The Jump," Pippen supported Irving’s decision to ask for a trade from Cleveland, saying it is the right choice because he can “control his own destiny” as a superstar in his own right and not a backup to LeBron James.

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Pippen also called Irving’s decision perfect timing because there have been “a lot of things going on within that organization."

Pippen also said James failed to give his teammate the security they need. As a superstar and a leader, Pippen said James should always be there to support his teammates. Instead of doing that, Pippen stressed that James let rumors swirl that he will leave in 2018 for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Earlier, James said that he will not waive his no-trade clause for next season, meaning he plans to stay with the Cavaliers for the 2017-18 season. However, James’ future with the Cavaliers is uncertain after that.

Pippen won six NBA titles as Jordan’s sidekick

Pippen and Jordan played together for 10 seasons with the Bulls, winning six championships from 1991 to 1998. He was drafted 5th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics but was traded to the Bulls, where he played until 1998.

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He suited up for the Houston Rockets for one season before he played four years with the Portland Trail Blazers. He rejoined the Bulls on a two-year, $10-million deal in 2003 but he played just 23 games. After the 2003-04 season, Pippen announced his retirement after a 17-year NBA career. In 1,178 regular-season games, Pippen averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. In 2010, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Clippers out of Irving chase

According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Clippers pulled out of the chase for Irving because they lack the necessary pieces to consummate a trade with the Cavaliers. Turner said that the Los Angeles Clippers determined that they cannot fulfill the Cavaliers’ demand for a win-now veteran, a blue-chip young player, and draft picks. The Los Angeles Clippers are willing to trade Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell but they fail to meet the Cavs’ standard.

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The Clippers cannot offer Cleveland an immediate top pick, as they still owe the Boston Celtics their 2019 draft selection.

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