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Kyrie Irving admits to have been overwhelmed by transition to Boston

Kyrie Irving

The Boston Celtics’ five-time All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving sent shockwaves throughout the NBA world during the summer of 2017 when he requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving went to three-straight Finals with LeBron James and the Cavs. The star guard hit the game-winning shot in the 2016 Finals in Game 7 over Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry, a shot that will be forever remembered in Cleveland.

Everyone, including members of the Cavaliers, was shocked when they heard Irving wanted out of Cleveland. Irving was tired of living in the shadow of James and wanted to start a new chapter of his NBA career.

So, after months of deliberation, the Cavs traded Irving to the Celtics and, while the 26-year-old was ecstatic to be in Beantown, Irving admits the 2017-18 season was overwhelming at times.

“Last year, it was almost like a trial,” Irving told Jackie MacMullan of ESPN. “There was a lot going on. It was overwhelming at times, to be honest. The focus needed to be directed on getting better and helping my new team win a championship, instead of focusing on all the outside noise [regarding his departure from Cleveland] that affected me personally.

“I was afraid to admit that initially, because I wanted to be prideful and handle everything. So, it’s been a matter of figuring it out and growing.”

Kyrie Irving hid his emotions well, as he played at a high level in his first season in Celtic green. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists in 60 regular season games while shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line.

Irving is set to make $20.1 million in 2018-19 and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 if he declines his player option for the 2019-20 season. Irving’s free agency next summer will likely be a frequent talking point throughout this season.