Kyrie Irving era begins in Boston

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Updated: September 4, 2017
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After looking at everything that has transpired over the past month, things in Cleveland escalated quickly.

Kyrie Irving finds himself entering the exact situation he desired after shockingly requesting to be traded by the Cavaliers. And he got what he wanted — the opportunity to be a franchise player. On top of that, it’ll be with the Boston Celtics, one of Cleveland’s biggest rivals in the Eastern Conference.

Everyone is going to form their own perception of this eerie scenario. One rather popular NBA great who has been very vocal about Irving’s trade request is TNT analyst Charles Barkley.

 

The fact of the matter is certain players earn a right to voice their discomfort or displeasure with their situation in all sports, not just the NBA. Irving is one of those guys, and he’s still only 25 years old.

Personally, I believe this was the night everything changed for the one-time Duke product.

At this point we can only make assumptions of exactly when Irving began to want his own sanctuary. Regardless, he is entering the perfect situation with Boston. He joins a young and completely revamped Celtics roster that will remain a championship contender for the next four-to-five years. That’s much more than you can say for Cleveland.

If the reports are indeed true that LeBron James plans to leave after the upcoming 2017-18 season, Cleveland will instantly enter a rebuilding mode.

For the first time since James re-arrived in 2014-15, Irving is once again the best player on his team. It’s his time to shine, elevate his career and take it to the next level. Now, can he evolve? How will he fare in Brad Stevens’ system in Boston? Will he embrace the move-the-ball philosophy? That’ll be his biggest challenge.

Irving is one of the best in the league at creating for himself and getting his own shot. But many still doubt that he’s capable of being a “true” point guard and create for others. Last season, Irving averaged 5.8 assists per game. In fact, he’s only averaged more than six assists per game one season thus far. But he’s a different player than he was before James came back to town.

Most of the criticism that Irving receives boils down to the consequence of playing alongside an all-time great like James. His production never seemed like enough. Without Irving, the Cavaliers don’t win the 2016 NBA championship. Point. Blank. Period.

But James still gets most of the praise. So how can you blame Irving for wanting to “ride his on wave”? He has the opportunity to create his own legacy in Boston, a franchise that has won 17 championships — the most in NBA history.

Irving couldn’t have asked for a better situation. And now he gets a chance to deliver.

DC Hendrix

DC Hendrix

Report for Sideline Sports Report. Producer/Host for ESPN 1380 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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