Kyrie Irving requested a trade about two months ago. The Cavaliers shopped him, sparking rumors about half the league. Anonymously sourced reports about why he wanted to leave Cleveland, which been to three straight NBA Finals, focused on LeBron James. Irving appeared in a video laughing along as Stephen Curry mocked LeBron (though with no ill intent, Curry insists). The Cavs finally reached a deal with the Celtics only for it to take nearly another week to be completed.
All the while, Irving stayed silent publicly on the trade saga.
Irving posted a video called “Thank you Cleveland.” It’s a bit rambling, but this excerpt was my key takeaway:
When you get to that point, and you understand that the best intentions for you – and, ultimately, to being your truth – and find out what you really want to do in your life and how you want to 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 put a lot of hours in and a lot of work into just trying to accomplish things that I have dreamt of as a kid.
Irving also posted to Instagram:
"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
There’s still plenty left unsaid – namely, why Cleveland was no longer a place he could be happy and feel like he was optimizing his potential. But there’s still time to sort all that out.
For now, it’s just nice to hear straight from Irving after hearing so much about Irving these last couple months.