Kyrie Irving is officially a member of the Boston Celtics now that the two sides were able to reach an official, final agreement on the trade shipping him out of Cleveland on Wednesday night. Irving will join forces with Gordon Hayward and Al Horford in Boston to create on of the league’s most impressive star trios, and the expectations for what the group will do in the East is very high.
Before Irving put his full attention towards the task at hand with his new team, he first wanted to reflect on his six seasons in Cleveland and send a message of thanks to Cavs fans. Irving posted a video to Tout on Thursday afternoon, as he spoke about his time in Cleveland, and also included a message to the fans in his latest Instagram post.
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"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
“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,” Irving 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 and as a player perfecting their craft. I’ve put a lot of hours in and a lot of work into trying to accomplish things that I have dreamt of as a kid. …
“I spent part of my life and my years in the NBA in such a great environment in Cleveland and being there from the start in 2011. And it now coming to an end in 2017, which is still crazy in my mind, but I want to say that all the individuals that I met over my six year span — and I don’t say it as this is an ending friendship or anything like that — you guys understand how much those moments meant to me. Connecting with everyone, because it matters and I care. And I love the world and I love people and I love being around people. … To be able to share those moments with everyone in Cleveland and everyone in Ohio, and doing something that was an unbelievable experience for all of us. I still can’t believe just the feats that we reached in a six-year span. I’m truly grateful and I’m thankful.”
Irving offered a little insight into his reasoning for asking out in noting that he wanted to go to the place that would be the most conducive to maximizing his potential as a player. That falls in line with reporting the Irving wanted out of LeBron James’ shadow and was looking to go to a team that he could be the guy and test himself as the star of a team.
Whether the Celtics, with Hayward and Horford, are that team to truly test that remains a matter of opinion, but he certainly will have the chance to be the primary star or, at worst, a co-primary star, something he wouldn’t get in Cleveland.
At the end, he noted all the moments he’s shared with fans and teammates in Cleveland, and the accomplishments of the Cavs in winning a championship. There are no specific thank yous or goodbyes to any teammates, but he seems to be speaking to all of them and one would assume some personal conversations will happen not on video or social media in public view.
That said, people will be waiting with baited breath for the first public interaction between Irving and LeBron James, to see how the former teammates react to each other being on opposite benches.