Kyrie Irving Praises Celtics, Thanks Boston for 'Getting Me out of Cleveland'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2018

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 30: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against the Charlotte Hornets during a preseason game on September 30, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving effusively praised the Celtics organization Friday while addressing the media. 

During a press conference, Irving expressed gratitude for the Celtics acquiring him from the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Prior to the 2017-18 season, Boston traded Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick and the Miami Heat's 2020 second-round pick to Cleveland for Irving.

With regard to how he feels in Boston, Irving said, "I'm happy here. Every day is at an all-time competitive high. What more can you ask for? Just from an organization taking a chance. ... Really taking a chance regardless of whether I was gonna sign back or not."

Irving can opt out of his contract at the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign, but he said Thursday that he plans to re-sign with the Celtics, per ESPN.com"I've shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization as well as everyone else in Boston. If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year."

The 26-year-old is a five-time All-Star who is coming off a strong first season in Boston.

Although he missed 22 regular season games and Boston's entire playoff run due to injury, Irving averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest.

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Irving became a star in Cleveland after the Cavs selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, and he reached three consecutive NBA Finals alongside LeBron James, winning one championship.

The former Duke standout has a chance to enjoy a similar run of success in Boston since he's surrounded by a deep and talented supporting cast that includes Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.

With both Irving and Hayward recovered from injuries that cut their 2017-18 seasons short, the Celtics are the odds-on favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2018-19 NBA Finals.