Prior to being traded to the Boston Celtics in late August, the New York Knicks were among the teams that All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving had interest in joining.

The 25-year-old shed more light on the reasoning behind that being the case on Tuesday night ahead of the Celtics taking on the Knicks that it came down to one simple fact, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.

Kyrie Irving didn’t want to talk about why the Knicks were on the list of teams that he hoped to be traded to over the summer, but he did confirm that New York was one of his preferred destinations. “It’s pretty easy man,” Irving said to a small group of reporters when asked about the Knicks. “They were on my list for a reason, I think you guys know that. Close to home, that’s about it.” Irving, who grew up in West Orange, N.J. and whose father is from the Bronx, was hesitant to talk about New York because he didn’t want to fuel any unnecessary speculation. Irving can be a free agent in the summer of 2019. “I’m not going to go into detail about all that extra stuff because I know where this is going to lead,” he said. “I know exactly where this is going.” Irving, who also reportedly had the Timberwolves, Spurs and Heat on his list of preferred trade destinations, had 20 points and seven assists in 30 minutes in Boston’s 21-point win over New York.

Irving had some interest in playing close to home as he grew up in New Jersey not far from where the Knicks are. It would have provided him a unique opportunity to play in front of family and friends on a more frequent basis.

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Kyrie Irving
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However, the Celtics were able to quickly swoop in and work out a deal for the 25-year-old that has him engrained as possibly the new face of the franchise. Irving is in the third year of his five-year, $94.3 million deal that includes a player option for the 2019-20 season worth $21.3 million.

The four-time All-Star has already expressed much interest in remaining in Boston for the rest of his career as it gives him the chance to build his own legacy as the leading factor of a potential title contending team over the next several seasons.