NBA

Kyrie Irving criticises the "environment" in Cleveland and explains how it led to departure

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Reports have been swirling throughout the summer in an attempt to explain why Kyrie Irving decided to request a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It has been suggested, via multiple sources, that his relationship with LeBron James deteriorated and he was no longer willing to play with him.

Other reports said he wanted to be the focal point of a franchise and be the number one option.

Throughout the entire process that ultimately led to the Cavs trading him to the Boston Celtics, the one man who never gave an explanation was the player himself.

Irving finally attempted to clear that up in an appearance on ESPN's First Take on Monday where he spoke at length about his departure from Ohio and the factors that led to it.

Throughout his interview, the point guard continually made reference to the environment in Cleveland and didn't paint it in a positive light.

When Stephen A. Smith asked what went into his trade request, Irving replied: "I just wanted to be in an environment where I felt I could be taught every single day and have that demand from my coaching staff and have that demand from a franchise that would propel me to exceed my potential and see how far I can go."

This is an obvious slight at the Cavaliers coaching staff and shows that he wasn't happy with the role he had within the team.

'Uncle Drew' has often been criticised for being selfish and playing one on one too often, but former head coach Tyronn Lue had always defended his style.

Tthe four-time All-Star made it clear through the interview that he wasn't happy in Cleveland and he had to do something about it.

"There were times when after games I would go out and shoot, and as any professional athlete or any person knows when in your workplace and you have those tough days, there are questions that you ask yourself, 'Is this the right thing for me right now?' I answered that question for myself," he said.

At 25, the move to Boston has come at a good time for both parties and he described his mood as "ecstatic" ahead of his first campaign with the C's.

The Cavaliers took many trade calls regarding Kyrie but it was the Celtics who provided them with an offer they couldn't refuse.

They received a package that featured Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick via the Miami Heat.

With two years remaining on his existing deal, there's a good chance that Irving commits himself to Boston beyond that.

"I'm ready to try out a new situation and be in an environment where I felt like I can be happy," he said.

The Cavs and Celtics face off in the season opener in less than four weeks and with all the subplots surrounding it, it's become an unmissable encounter.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Kyrie Irving
LeBron James

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