Kyrie Irving, who was officially sent to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday after a whirlwind week, posted a video Thursday thanking the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers for his time with the franchise.
"I still can’t believe just the feats that we reached in a six-year span and I’m truly grateful and I’m thankful ... this is a special thank you to Cleveland. I love all you guys' support and all you guys' love over the ... years I was in Cleveland, and I say that because I know the journey continues from this point on. There will be nothing but love that I have for the organization and what we got to be a part of."
Irving, 25, requested a trade from the Cavaliers in July. The Celtics agreed late Wednesday to add a 2020 second-round pick to a deal that already included All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick.
"It's hard to make videos like this because you understand the magnitude of decisions that you make in your life can affect a lot of people all at once," Irving said, ostensibly referring to his trade request. "When you get to that point and you understand that the best intentions for you and to be in your truth and find out what you really want to do in your life and how you accomplish it.
"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."
Irving spent his first six NBA seasons with the Cavs, making four All-Star teams and one of the biggest shots in franchise history—a go-ahead three with under a minute remaining in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. He'll join a Celtics team that features Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, who signed with Boston as free agents the last two offseasons.
The Cavaliers and Celtics spent the last week hashing out final details of the trade after Thomas' physical revealed he may miss part of the 2017-18 season due to a hip injury. With a deadline of 10 a.m. ET looming Thursday, Boston sent another pick to Cleveland to sweeten the initial package.