Boston’s Kyrie Irving excited to now be ‘playing in a real, live sports city’ – CBSSports.com
New Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving left Cleveland Cavaliers fans with a sour taste in their mouths back in June when he requested a trade following three straight NBA Finals appearances, including the Cavs’ first NBA title in 2016.
Overall, Irving’s departure went about as smoothly as one could expect, with both sides shying away from mudslinging and name-calling. On Wednesday, however, Irving appeared to take a slight jab at the city of Cleveland and its sports culture. Via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:
“Boston, I’m driving in and (thinking), ‘I’m really playing in a real, live sports city?'” Irving said.
While Irving was probably just trying to compliment the sports fans of his new city, the obvious conclusion to make is that he’s essentially saying that Cleveland was not, in fact, “a real, live sports city.” Irving also made comments about the nightlife, or lack thereof, in Ohio’s second-largest city.
“It’s exciting to be back on the East Coast,” said Irving, who grew up in New Jersey. “It’s fast-paced. 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.”
Irving isn’t the first player to cast Cleveland in a somewhat boring light. Knicks center Joakim Noah was famously blunt when discussing his feelings about the city back when he was a member of the Chicago Bulls.
“You like it? You think Cleveland’s cool?” Noah asked members of the media. “I mean, I never heard anybody say I’m going to Cleveland on vacation. What’s so good about Cleveland?”
While Irving may not have meant his comments to be a slight to his former city, you better believe it will be fresh in Cavs fans’ minds when Cleveland plays Boston in the first game of the NBA season next Tuesday.