October 11, 2018
Kyrie Irving isn’t looking back with any regret on his decision to leave LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017.
Irving stunned the 2016 NBA champions last year when he requested to be traded.
Rumours began to circulate of a breakdown in relationship between Irving and James, with the former said to be frustrated at not being the face of the franchise.
The Cavaliers eventually agreed a trade deal with the Boston Celtics in a package centred around Isaiah Thomas.
Irving seamlessly slotted into Brad Stevens’ set-up in Boston, quickly becoming the orchestrator to how the Celtics played.
He averaged 24.4 points per game and had the best shooting percentage of his career - 0.491 - before having to undergo knee surgery, cutting his season short before the playoffs.
There had been some concern in Boston about Irving’s plans for the future ahead of free agency next summer, but he eased most of those doubts last week when he announced at a fan event at TD Garden that he plans on re-signing there.
Some questions are still raised as to why Irving wanted to leave a Cleveland team in 2017 which had been to three consecutive NBA Finals and had James as a superstar team-mate.
But Irving has described his then-trade request as the “best decision of his career”.
NBA news: Kyrie Irving aims sly dig at LeBron James over Celtics trade
NBA news: Kyrie Irving aims sly dig at LeBron James over Celtics trade
"Change is hard sometimes, man," Irving told Bleacher Report.
"And deciding to do what's best for you is not gonna look the same for everyone else.
“So you have to wilfully accept that."
"I think it was the best move for my career, honestly, because it wasn't about any particular person or anything like that.
NBA news: Kyrie Irving aims sly dig at LeBron James over Celtics trade
"It was just time.
“It may not have looked 'time' for everyone else, but for me, it was time."
He added: "Like, keep it real.
"If I was still in Cleveland, I would be ... like everything that was foreseen to happen, happened."
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