Kyrie Irving spent the first six years of his NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it sounds like he already feels at home with the Boston Celtics as the start of his first campaign with the reigning Atlantic Division champions approaches.
Speaking to reporters prior to Wednesday's preseason tilt with the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center, Irving said he's quickly become enamored with Boston since he believes it's more lively than Northeast Ohio, per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
"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."
Boston, of course, has a rich sports history thanks to the Celtics' regular banner-raising practices in the 1960s and 1980s, as well as sustained excellence throughout the millennium from the Boston Red Sox and dynastic New England Patriots.
The Cleveland sports scene can't compare in terms of sheer titles, but the Indians' recent brilliance combined with the Cavaliers' resurgence following LeBron James' return in 2014 can't be discounted.
And after Irving's comments, the Wine and Gold faithful are likely to let him hear it when the Celtics travel to Quicken Loans Arena for their 2017-18 regular-season opener next Tuesday.