Kyrie Irving helped bring Cleveland its first championship in decades when he drilled the winning shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, but he is now a member of the Boston Celtics after a much-publicized trade request this offseason.
Despite the storyline of his return to face the Cavaliers in Tuesday's season opener, he made it clear he didn't "want to pinpoint anything" when he was asked why he requested the trade, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
"I kind of want to put that to rest in terms of everyone figuring out or trying to continue to dive into a narrative they have no idea about and probably will never, ever be divulged because it's not important," he said.
"This was literally just a decision I wanted to make solely based on my happiness and pushing my career forward," he continued. "I don't want to pinpoint anything. I will never pinpoint anything because that's not what real grown-ups do. They continue to move on with their life and continue to progress and that's what I'm going to continue to do."
While one could argue "real grown-ups" actually do pinpoint reasons behind life-altering decisions, Irving has already made notable comments about his former home as he looks to "continue to progress."
"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," he said Wednesday, per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. "Boston, I'm driving in and [thinking], 'I'm really playing in a real, live sports city?' And a great city."
Irving also appeared on ESPN's First Take and said he didn't tell LeBron James about his trade request and didn't really care if the future Hall of Famer took it personally, via NBA.com.
Those comments likely won't sit well with Cleveland fans, especially juxtaposed against the fact he requested out of their town in the first place. However, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported the Cavaliers still plan on honoring their former point guard with a video tribute Tuesday.
The attention will eventually return to basketball and a potentially intriguing second-straight Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the two sides. Irving will be in Celtics green this time around, while Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder will be in the wine and gold of the Cavaliers.
Fans will receive a taste of what could be a back-and-forth race to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference in Tuesday's opener and have the opportunity to react to Irving's return for the first time.
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