The once-heralded Kyrie Irving was becoming a Cleveland legend. Barring a surprise trade that shipped him off the Cavs, he was going to have his No. 2 hung in the rafters right next to LeBron James’ No. 23. But the trade happened and it wasn’t exactly a hero’s departure. Irving stirred up the Cavalier faithful with reports that he was no longer wanted to play in Cleveland. He did not want to play with LeBron and wanted to be the “man” on another team. It was an explosive report but people were not sure if he would actually leave.
Then the biggest trade of the offseason happened. The Celtics sent All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks to Cleveland for Irving. So Uncle Drew was on his merry way to Boston.
Cavaliers fans were not terribly upset because of what Irving did for the team in his 6 seasons in Cleveland. However, they were not happy that he didn’t want anything to do with their organization any longer. Then Irving threw some shade.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Irving said, “Boston, I’m driving in and (thinking), ‘I’m really playing in a real, live sports city?'” Maybe what Irving was trying to say that Boston is a city with a great history of sports, with the Celtics (most championships in NBA), Patriots (2 in last 3 years), Red Sox (4th-most), and Bruins (4th-most).
But it just sounded like Irving said Cleveland was not a real, live sports city.
Now Irving was actually a part of bringing Cleveland its first championship in decades, but it seems like these comments might have repercussions. Many Cavaliers fans already soured on Irving and these comments probably did not go over well with the rest of the Cleveland fan base. If the jury was out on Irving, the verdict is now tipping towards a rivalry.
Especially with the way LeBron James feels about his hometown team, you probably shouldn’t throw any shade at ‘The Land’. If you needed a reminder, Irving and the Celtics are visiting the Cavaliers in Cleveland next Tuesday for the first game of the 2017-18 regular season.