Last summer, Kyrie Irving demanded to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
More than a year later, it’s clear Irving isn’t only happy with his decision — it’s worked out even better than the 5-time All-Star could have ever thought.
Dating back to that July 2017 day when he asked the Cavs for a trade, Irving’s disdain for the franchise he spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career has become apparent. Last week, after publicly committing to signing a long-term deal with the Celtics next summer, he thanked Boston in part for “getting me out of Cleveland.”
Speaking to Beck, Irving opened up about his trade request and why he believes it looks even better in hindsight. In particular, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist alluded to LeBron James’ departure from the Cavs this past summer and the predicament it could have left him in had he remained in Cleveland.
“Like, keep it real,” said Irving, whose Celtics are now considered the front-runners in the Eastern Conference following James’ decision to take his talents to Hollywood. “If I was still in Cleveland, I would be … like everything that was foreseen to happen, happened.
“I think it was the best move for my career, honestly, because it wasn’t about any particular person or anything like that. It was just time. It was just time. It may not have looked ‘time’ for everyone else, but for me, it was time.”
Beck’s piece also delves into Irving’s tenure in Cleveland, including his alleged moodiness and a 2013 episode in which he allegedly challenged Cavs assistant Phil Handy by evading him.
Irving’s Celtics will kickoff their 2018-19 season next Tuesday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers, The 4-time defending Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers, meanwhile, will start their season on the road the following day against the Toronto Raptors.
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