Kyrie Irving Bids Farewell To Cleveland In Genuine Instagram Post Before Being Formally Introduced By Celtics
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.
"My special thank you to Cleveland" *Link in Bio. My love extends way beyond the court I have for Cleveland and it will always be a place thats special because of the great people and experiences. The Ups and downs, we stand and fight no matter what the circumstances are, and that's what being in Cleveland embodies, it is all Love and a whole lotta pride. To the incredible individuals I've met who support the Cleveland organization and help allow us as Players to feel a special bond to the State/City and shared countless moments with, keep being YOU and know that my appreciation is eternal. Thank you From my whole being for being there as I was a 19 year old kid coming into the league, to now where I start another step in the journey as a 25 year old Evolving man. It will Always be Love and respect Cleveland. "The journey is always the Reward" #KyrieWick
The Eastern Conference is going to be a sight to see next year.
[h/t For The Win]