The NBA’s least-well-kept secret of the summer of 2017 was how much Kyrie Irving wanted off the Cleveland Cavaliers. And the star point guard got his wish in August, getting traded to the Boston Celtics for a package of players and picks.
But as an interview with the Boston Globe attests, he had as little love for the city of Cleveland as he did the Cavs.
In praising Boston to the Globe, Irving couldn’t help but compare his former and current cities — and the former doesn’t come off well.
“It’s exciting to be back on the East Coast,” Irving said. “It’s fast-paced. A lot of different cultures, food, and people. You get it all, especially in Boston. I was talking to my best friend the other day: It’s a really major city. 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.
“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.”
This is a bit of a 180 for Irving. At his initial press conference in Boston, Irving both praised LeBron James and had kind words for his time with the team, saying he was appreciative of “the Cleveland fans [and] all of Ohio”:
That said, this isn’t the first time an NBAer has disparaged the Cleve. In last year’s playoffs, Draymond Green said he didn’t think Clevelanders were “the sharpest people”:
And Joakim Noah infamously put an even finer point on it in 2010, saying flat out “It’s bad”:
But you have to believe the Irving snipes will hurt more considering he actually played for the team, lived in the city and had time to get to know it.