There’s plenty to be excited about for the upcoming NBA season.
Russ has new friends to play with. Kyrie gets to be “the man” in Boston. Giannis and Kawhi join the MVP discussion. Lonzo. The Process. LeBron and Wade together again. The Warriors and their star-smashing Line-up of Death.
The SLAM PH team got together to add to that list. They wrote about why they’re personally excited for the return of the NBA.
So, get hyped. The NBA is back!
We all know that Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and GM Koby Altman granted him his wish while also getting a good haul in return.
As a new Celtic, Irving has been very excited about the opportunity to lead his new squad; he wanted to be the centerpiece of a team anyway, and with the Celtics, he will get that experience first-hand.
Even when Irving was with the Cavs, people can’t help but speculate if he had a good relationship with LeBron James or the city of Cleveland itself.
Remember these cryptic tweets?
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 7, 2016
Control what you can control. Sounds so cliche, but its the bold truth.
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) March 7, 2016
James went on to say he was just expressing his “beautiful mind” on social media. Irving got the ball rolling this offseason when he unfollowed James on social media. Now with the Celtics, Irving has gotten a lot more vocal, giving himself the green light to express whatever he wants. And he certainly didn’t hold back. There was Ice-Cold Irving in a First Take interview basically admitting that he didn’t even consider speaking to James about wanting out of Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving vs. LeBron James Step 1. Kyrie asks to be traded without telling LeBron. Step 2. Kyrie is a savage on First Take. Step 3. TBD pic.twitter.com/0N8TxkWohd — Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 29, 2017
Last week after the Celtics preseason opener, Irving said that the Celtics’ ball movement was “beautiful to watch,” even adding that they make the “extra, extra pass.”
“Sometimes we even got into a span of making the extra, extra pass. And when you’re in a group like that, you know you’re playing with some great guys.”
To his credit, the Cavaliers did place just 26th last season in passes per game with 280.7 average, while Boston was second overall (325.3/game)
But Irving was sixth overall among players in isolation plays per game (21.4 percent frequency). He and James (20.3 percent) were sixth and seventh in the league. Was Cleveland limiting him and preventing him from what he could and wanted to do as a floor general? Was that what led to him saying the ball movement stuff?
Then more recently, Irving went on to say that Boston “is a real, live sports city.”
Depending on how people would want to interpret that, it could be a slight jab to Cleveland. Dwyane Wade was gracious with Irving’s comment. But the new cavalier still had some choice words for Irving during an interview.
“My thing has always been — even in Miami — first of all, you never know where you’re going to be, what’s going to happen, where you’re going to end up, who you’re going to be teammates with,” Wade said. “You just never know those things, so I never want to leave a place and talk s— about a place.”
It looks like Irving is really happy now being with the Celtics. Joined by Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, Irving and the Celtics could give the Cavaliers a real run for the Eastern Conference title.
All of that remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: stay glued to basketball Twitter, because Irving will be out there dishing out a lot of these kinds of quotes all season.
We’ve had a lot of interesting Russell Westbrook quotes last season following the departure of his old teammate Kevin Durant. This year, it’s Irving’s turn to star in #PettyWarz.
It will be interesting to see how Irving will take this word war against LeBron James because he was the initiator in all of this. Unlike Westbrook who was scorned by Durant, Irving asked for the trade out of Cleveland to be “the man” in Boston. But he’s the one leading off with the jabs. James has been calm throughout all this. But a man with his platform will eventually fire back.
Things are about to get heated as the Celtics play the Cavaliers in the NBA regular season opener on Wednesday (Manila time). So stay tuned for the latest as Irving might have some tasty quotes before and after the game.
Photos from NBA.com
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