BOSTON (CBS) — Before the drama of the NBA season tips off on Tuesday night, the real drama that engulfs the league had to be revisited.
That drama is, of course, Kyrie Irving’s decision to ask out of Cleveland. He’ll now be dropping dimes and draining buckets for the Boston Celtics, and his first stop in a Celtics uniform just so happens to be in Cleveland on Tuesday night when the two teams tip off the 2017-18 NBA season.READ MORE: Amazon Driver Charged With Child Porn After Allegedly Wearing Wig, Taking Pictures In Wrentham Outlets Bathroom
Irving’s been bombarded with questions about his departure since the Celtics and Cavaliers agreed to the blockbuster trade late in the offseason. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to discuss the details, just saying he felt it’s what was best for his growth as a player and a person.
That doesn’t really explain the “why” behind it all: Why he would want to leave the franchise that drafted him first overall in 2011, one that has been to the NBA Finals in each of the last three seasons and one that has LeBron James leading the way.
After Boston’s shootaround at the Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday morning, those questions were back again. And like before, there really weren’t many answers from Irving, who said his reasons for leaving Cleveland aren’t all that important.
“Guys, going forward, I kind of wanted to put that to rest,” Irving told reporters, via MassLive.com. “Everyone figuring out or trying to figure out or dive in and continue to dive in to a narrative they have no idea about, and that probably will never ever be divulged, because it’s not important. This was literally just a decision that I wanted to make solely based on my happiness and pushing my career forward.
“I don’t want to pinpoint anything,” he continued. “I will never pinpoint anything because it’s not what real grown ups do. They continue to move on with their life, they continue to progress, and that’s what I’m in the NBA to do.”
Interseting that he would use “grownups” after LeBron James spent much of the offseason referring to Irving as a “kid.”READ MORE: 5-Month Old 'Fenway Baby' Becomes Crowd Favorite At Red Sox Game
Despite the animosity he may feel towards James or any of his former Cavaliers teammates, Irving said he’ll always have a bond with them after the fought back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors to claim Cleveland’s first NBA title.
“Understanding what we had to do and what we had to commit ourselves to in order to accomplish something bigger than ourselves, and I was part of that special team. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” he recalled of that squad.
Irving drew the ire of Cleveland fans last week when he called Boston a “real, live sports city.” He clarified on Tuesday that those comments were not meant as a slight against Cleveland, and he was not out to compare the two cities.
“Of course it was going to turn into a comparison,” Irving said, according to The Boston Globe. “I was talking about driving into Boston, and when I’m actually on the highway driving through Boston and doing this in a new environment of going into that city, it’s something different for me.”
The Cavaliers will play a video tribute for Irving at some point during Tuesday game, but he doesn’t expect a very warm welcome from his former fans.
“I know that I’ve seen the end of being down there on that other bench and fans booing the opponent and understanding that Cleveland fans want their home team to win. So I expect the same thing,” he said.
At least Irving will have some pretty sweet kicks when he makes his Celtics debut.MORE NEWS: Suspect Arrested After 7-Hour Standoff In Boston
Tune in to Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers NBA season opener on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Celtics. Pregame coverage begins at 7:30pm!