4:59 PM PT -- Kyrie is clearing the air on his comments ... saying he was NOT throwing shade at LeBron or any of his former teammates.
"Why must it always be brother against brother? Why?," Kyrie said. "If I'm addressing anyone, I'll say their name."
He continued ... "Don't listen to the false narratives. Let people live their lives. It's just a game."
1:05 PM PT -- Tristan Thompson, who played with Kyrie in Cleveland said, on "The Herd" on FS1, he's "hoping" the comments were just a bonding strategy to get closer to KD ... and points out there were SEVERAL guys on the Cavs who could make clutch shots.
TT also points out LeBron is currently playing in the Finals ... "He's a pretty good player, so if I give him the ball, I'm pretty sure he'll make shots, too."
Kyrie Irving says he's never trusted his old teammates with hitting clutch baskets ... admitting he's always "felt like I was the best option" until he joined Kevin Durant in Brooklyn.
The question was -- 10 seconds left in a close game, who takes the final shot?? Kyrie said it goes to the hot hand ... and then dropped this:
"One thing I've always been comfortable with is I felt like I was the best option on every team I've played for down the stretch," Uncle Drew said.
"This is the first time in my career where I can be like ... 'that motherf**ker can make that shot, too!"
Now, Kyrie DID hit the dagger 3 pointer in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win their first title in franchise history ... but LBJ has hit his fair share of clutch shots throughout his career.
It's no secret Kyrie demanded out of Cleveland and wanted do his thing away from LeBron ... but now it seems he didn't think the 4-time MVP was a killer in the clutch.
There's more ... Kyrie also talked about his new coach, Steve Nash ... saying he doesn't really see him as a "head coach" ... and thinks the team of KD, Nash, assistant Jacque Vaughn and himself as being head coaches by committee.
KD agreed ... saying "It's a collaborative effort."