After the Isaiah Thomas/Kyrie Irving trade hit a snag when the torn labrum in Thomas’ right hip caused speculation, Boston sweetened the deal by gifting Cleveland a second-round pick from the Miami Heat in 2020. And on Monday, Kyrie Irving’s No. 11 Celtics’ gear was being sold on NBA.com.
Irving, along with fellow All-Star Gordon Hayward, is set to be formally introduced as a Celtic today after spending his career-to-date in wine and gold. As the first pick in the 2011 Draft, Irving averaged 21.6 points, 5.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game and picked up four All-Star bids and an NBA Championship in his young career.
Boston, who won 53 regular season games last year and made an Eastern Conference Finals appearance, will only be returning four players from last year’s team. But with the acquisition of Irving and Hayward, the veteran leadership of big man Al Horford, and the promise of fellow Duke alum and Boston’s first pick Jayson Tatum, the Celtics are more formidable on paper than they were a season ago.
Before the media circus in Boston began, the 25-year-old Irving posted a 4:30 minute video on the video platform Tout expressing his sincere gratitude to the Cavaliers’ organization and the people of Ohio.
“It’s hard to make videos like this because you understand the magnitude of decisions that you make in your life can affect a lot of people all at once,” he said. “And when you get to that point and you understand that the best intentions for you and to be in your truth and find out what you really want to do in your life and how you accomplish it.
“That moment comes and you take full advantage of it and there are no other ulterior reasons other than being happy and wanting to be somewhere where you feel like it’s an environment that’s conducive for you maximizing your potential as a human being.”
Irving also took to Instagram to reinforce his appreciation as he heads to his former team’s biggest competitive threat.
The Eastern Conference is going to be a sight to see next year.
[h/t For The Win]