Kyrie Irving was officially introduced as a member of the Boston Celtics on Friday (Sept. 1), alongside new teammate Gordon Hayward, and he praised now-former teammate LeBron James in the process.
During the press conference, Kyrie revealed that he had not spoken to LeBron since the trade, but showered him with praise.
“I haven’t spoken to [James], and my intent [in asking for a trade], like I said, was for my best intentions,” Irving said. “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.”
“The perfection of the craft comes in a variety of forms. And you watch, you ask a lot of the great players, ‘What does it take to be great?’ I’ve had the unique opportunity to play with one of the greats and it was awesome. … When you look back and you’re eternally grateful for the moments that you’ve had and shared; you’re able to put peace with that journey and start anew.”
— NBA (@NBA) September 1, 2017
The Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, and the Miami Heat’s 2020 second-round pick in exchange for Irving, while Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the team in July as a free agent.
Irving went on to say he’s excited about his new journey in Boston.
“I can’t wait to get on the floor and maximize my potential,” he said. “I just want to be around those incredible coaches and those incredible minds and those incredible individuals, and I feel like in doing that, Boston came right at the exact time and it was meant to be that way. I trust in that, and I’m glad to be here.”