Kyrie Irving discusses his relationship with LeBron James
Introduced as a Boston Celtic today at TD Garden, Kyrie Irving is officially enemies with the Cavaliersâ€™ LeBron James. But their relationship soured long before that, of course, as it was one of the reasons why Irving wanted out of Cleveland in the first place, and the 25-year-old put a positive spin on that strained relationship in his press conference.
“I haven’t spoken to [James],â€� Irving, who will near No. 11 with the Celtics, admitted. â€œAnd my intent [with his trade request], like I said, was for my best intentions. To look back at the amount of ground we covered in the last three-year span… to really realize how special that was and how much stuff happened in that amount of time, I’d be sitting up here and telling you guys a lie if I didn’t tell you I learned so much from [James].â€�
Inarguably the best player in the world, Irving and the Cavs went to three straight NBA Finals upon LeBronâ€™s return to The Land, winning it all in 2016, Irving did not his appreciate for what the 32-year-old James did for his careerâ€™s growth.
“The perfection of the craft comes in a variety of forms. And you ask a lot of the great players, ‘What does it take to be great?’â€� Irving noted. â€œI’ve had the unique opportunity to play with one of the greats and it was awesome.
â€œWhen you look back and you’re eternally grateful for the moments that you’ve had and shared, you’re able to put peace with that journey and start anew.”
As easy as it would have been for Irving to talk about the negative aspects of playing with a player of LeBronâ€™s caliber, and mention the distractions that will surely come in a year that will be headlined by Jamesâ€™ likely departure from the Cavaliers, Irving maintained a positive approach, and said that Boston was just right for his career.
“It was my time to do what was best for me in terms of my intentions,â€� the No. 1 overall pick from the 2011 NBA Draft said. â€œAnd that’s going after something bigger than myself, and obviously being in an environment that was conducive for my potential.â€�
Concluded Irving: “Me leaving there wasn’t about basketball, it was more or less about creating that foundation of me in Cleveland, and then now taking this next step as a 25-year-old evolving man and being the best basketball player I can be.â€�
Irving will begin his Celtics career against James and the Cavs on Oct. 17.
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Source: GreenStreet Blog