Irving talked about the importance of moving to a new situation, where he felt he had a better opportunity to reach his full potential, expressing gratitude for everyone in Cleveland that had put him in a position to do so.
“That moment comes and you take full advantage of it, and there are no other ulterior reasons other than being happy and wanting to be somewhere where you feel like it’s an environment that’s conducive for you maximizing your potential as a human being, and as a player perfecting their craft” he said. “I still can’t believe just the feats that we reached in a 6-year span and I’m truly grateful and I’m thankful.”
The video, in its entirety, is a bit vague, but Irving was clearly trying to send a message of appreciation to the city that helped raise him as an NBA player. He also used it to address the criticism of his “difficult” personality.
“I love the world, and I love people, and I love being around people,” he said. “As guarded as I am, and as everyone likes to say that I have a wall up. Spending two minutes, five minutes, asking someone genuinely about themselves is what I truly care about.”
Boston will be hoping for as much. The Celtics are betting big on Irving’s potential, on the court, in the locker room, and in the community. If he can deliver, Celtics fans’ love for him will undoubtedly match his for the world.
For his part, Irving took a step towards endearing himself to the Boston faithful, following his thank you to Cleveland with a brief clip of the NBA 2K18 video game version of himself in a Celtics uniform.
It’s not overly exciting, but the sentiment is appreciated nonetheless. Irving is attempting to get out ahead of the narrative that he’s prone to being an unhappy camper. That’s smart, especially in a city that loves to blow things out of proportion.