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Kyrie Irving Clears the Air On Celtics’ Tenure

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving during Boston Celtics tenure

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the 2023-24 season is that Dallas Mavericks star guard Kyrie Irving has become a media darling. However, after calming his combative nature, Irving’s been measured in his media pressers. So much so that he responds transparently when asked tough questions about his past.

Kyrie Irving Clears the Air On Celtics’ Tenure

With the Mavs keeping their championship chances alive in Game 4, they’ll face the Boston Celtics in Game 5 tomorrow. Monday’s matchup could be the final game of the season, Boston up 3-1 against Dallas. As a result, there may not have been a better chance to ask Irving what’s different about playing for the Celtics.

“When I look back on it, getting traded here, this wasn’t one of my options,” Irving laughs.

“Like it wasn’t No. 1 on my list. So when the trade opportunity got approached to me, instead of going back and appreciating the Celtics history, I just came here with an open mind. Just kind of like, ‘alright, I’m just going to go with the flow into this.’ But I think that was the wrong approach… just being young.

But now that I’m a little older, (in) hindsight looking back on it, I definitely would’ve taken the time to get to know people within the community. Talk to some of the champions that have come before me and actually extend myself to them instead of the other way around, expecting them to be there for me and give me for advice. Because they’ve been through it. They have championship pedigree here… they’re one of the most winningest franchises in all of sports.”

“So you have to show your respects here,” he continues.

“And I think that’s what I struggled with initially was figuring out how I’m going to be a great player here while winning championships while also leading a team and selflessly joining the Celtics organization or the cult that they have here.

That’s what they expect you to do as a player. They expect you to seamlessly buy into the Celtics pride. Buy into everything Celtics. And if you don’t, then you’ll be outed.”

“I’m one of the people that’s on the outs,” Irving concludes. “And I’m perfectly fine with that. I did it to myself.”

The Last Word on Kyrie Irving’s Time With Celtics

Irving’s maturity will again grab the headlines.

Admitting he misstepped by being standoffish couldn’t have been easy. Indeed, his time with the Celtics did plenty of damage to his reputation. When in Boston, he was considered moody and selfish. However, he was on the path to becoming a pariah largely because he didn’t truly embody Celtics pride. The moment that he decided not to make a hard commitment to Boston, he had drawn the ire of the Celtics cult.

It is interesting that Irving confirmed that he didn’t want to be traded to the Celtics. That statement comes a week after it was revealed Boston wasn’t on his trade destination wishlist when he asked the Cleveland Cavaliers to move him. In fact, the Celtics were purposely left off, as the Cavs had just faced them in the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, the All-Star wanted to be sent to the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, or Minnesota Timberwolves.

Notably, three of those franchises have a rich history. That’s only to say that Irving was clearly willing to embrace a legacy larger than himself  Just not the Celtics.


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