BOSTON — Kyrie Irving says his decision to ask the Cavaliers to trade him was not about LeBron James but a desire to maximize his potential.
Irving and Gordon Hayward were introduced as members the Boston Celtics on Friday, two days after the blockbuster trade was completed.
Boston sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks to Cleveland for Irving. Hayward signed as a free agent in July.
Irving says he hasn’t spoken to James since the trade, but is grateful for the time he spent alongside a player he called one of the game’s greats. “I’ve had the unique opportunity to play with one of the greats and it was awesome.”
“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 that guy,” Irving said.
Hayward says he’s happy to be reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens. Hayward adds that Stevens was the first person to make him believe an NBA career was possible.