The trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston a summer ago was one drawn-out affair — news leaked in late July Irving wanted a trade, a month later a deal was announced, then the extent of Isaiah Thomas‘ injury started to really reveal itself, the Cavaliers asked for more, and the entire process to finalize the trade more than a week. In what is usually the dead part of the NBA summer, there was serious drama.
Where did Kyrie Irving learn about the deal finally becoming official? On the set of “Uncle Drew” and he disrupted shooting with his celebration. Chris Forsberg of ESPN has a deep dive on how that trade went down.
The screams came first, followed by a couple of loud expletives. [“Uncle Drew” director Charles] Stone pivoted in the director’s chair and looked toward the commotion just in time to see Irving sprinting through a set of doors leading to the exterior of the Atlanta night club that the “Uncle Drew” crew had rented to film that night….
“All of a sudden I hear someone screaming, like a guy is just yelling and screaming. And then I see Kyrie run across the dance floor and down through the club and book it right out the door,” Stone said. “And I’m already numb from the grind of shooting. I just kinda looked at my [assistant director] and deadpanned, ‘What happened now?'”
“I left out of the club that we were shooting at and I had to decompress for a quick second and it was just an energy shift,” said Irving.
It’s worth reading the entire story. Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens and the Celtics brass talk about how painful it was for them to trade away Isaiah Thomas, who they loved, but they felt they had to because Irving could be the transcendent player they needed to become a contender. Irving opens up about his emotions, and his teammates talk about how excited they were with the trade.
This coming season, with Gordon Hayward back healthy (*knock on wood*) and Irving healthy for the playoffs, we can finally see the full impact of that trade. It is what makes the Celtics the team to beat in the East this season and could have Boston back in the NBA Finals.