Either intentionally or unintentionally, Kyrie Irving offended the entire city of Cleveland a couple of days ago.
"[Boston is] a really major city,” Irving told reporters, as published by Gary Washburn in the Boston Globe. “Coming from Cleveland, the Midwest, where the culture is different. And then you move to the East Coast -- into Boston -- and it’s so real [and] alive. An ongoing, thriving city. Consistently. No matter what hour throughout the night.”
He continued, stating that Boston has "a lot of different cultures, food and people. You get it all, especially in Boston. You would go to Cleveland, and it would be at nighttime and things would be going on, but you just see a vast difference in terms of what the Midwest is -- Cleveland -- and what Boston is. Boston, I’m driving in and [thinking], ‘I’m really playing in a real, live sports city?’ And a great city.”
That wording implied that the city of Cleveland didn’t come close to comparing to his new setting. As a result, residents of the city and fans of the Cavs thrashed him on social media, clearly upset about what they felt was clear disrespect.
Newly-signed Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade offered a surprising take on the matter, siding with Irving and giving him the benefit of the doubt.
“I’ve always tried not to be too, me personally, oversensitive to what I read or what somebody says because I wasn’t there when they said it,” Wade told ESPN. “Because you just don’t know. Boston is a big sports town. It has the history there. And I think that’s one thing, if you want to read the quote, they have an amazing amount of sports history and all the championships from football to baseball to all four sports. I think, depending on how you want to take it.
"If you’re Cleveland and the way they were left, you read it one way. If you’re a sports fan somewhere else, you read it another way. So it just depends on how someone wants to take the quote when someone says it. Unless you were there and you heard it and saw his facial reaction and know how he really meant it. That’s how I look at things.”
In order to eliminate any drama, Wade has learned to be completely in-tune with what comes out of his mouth to avoid any backlash.
“… I never want to leave a place and talk s--- about a place. Because when you were there, it was great, and then you leave, it’s terrible? It’s just like players. Fans celebrate players when they’re there, and then they leave, and it’s the worst thing. That’s not me. That’s not how I do things. I’m appreciative of what people have done for me, what organizations have done for me, and I hope they’re appreciative of whatever I can bring or whatever I’ve done -- on and off the court. So, it doesn’t always go that way, but that’s the way I try to make it when I can control it,” he explained.
It appears as though Irving might want to take that advice moving forward. On the plus side, his comments made the season opener between the Celtics and Cavaliers on October 17 even more appealing than it already was.