Kyrie Irving says he hasn't spoken to LeBron James, thanks him for 'unique opportunity'
Irving acknowledged James' greatness and bid farewell to the team that drafted him No. 1 in 2011
Kyrie Irving said Friday at his introductory press conference in Boston that he did not speak to LeBron James in the month before his eventual trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics. In fact, he didn't talk to the media either, he says, because of his strategic plan to not have his quotes misconstrued.
"I haven't spoken to him and my intent, like I said, was for my best intentions. To look back at the amount of ground we covered in the last three-year span, or even before that because ... 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 how much I really learned 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."
Irving spent six years in Cleveland after the team selected him No. 1 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. He won a championship with the team -- the first in the franchise's history -- and he joined forces with James to form a dynamic duo the league could rarely stop. Ultimately, though, Irving made a decision to leave Cleveland. He says it was a difficult one but he's happy to have spent time alongside The King.
"This was a very, very challenging decision at first, but after a while you understand and you have that confidence in yourself to understand the magnitude of what you actually can accomplish and potentially can do with other great people," Irving said. "And now that I'm sitting here, it just echoes in terms of me just being very appreciative of not only the Cleveland fans, but all of Ohio, as well as Bron in incorporating me into that special team we had in Cleveland."
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