After breaking his silence Thursday for the first time since he was traded, Kyrie Irving was officially introduced by the Boston Celtics today.
The All-Star point guard admitted that he hasn't spoken with LeBron James since the trade was first reported last week.
"No, I haven't spoken to him," Irving said, as reported by ESPN. "And my intent [in requesting the trade], like I said, was for my best intentions."
That being said, Kyrie offered plenty of praise toward King James and their time together with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"To look back at the amount of ground we covered in the last three-year span ... to really realize how special that was and how much stuff happened in that amount of time, I'd be sitting up here and telling you guys a lie if I didn't tell you I learned so much from that guy," said Irving, who helped James lead the Cavs to a 2016 NBA title in the middle of three straight trips to the Finals.
Irving added: "The perfection of the craft comes in a variety of forms. And you watch, you ask a lot of the great players, 'What does it take to be great?' I've had the unique opportunity to play with one of the greats and it was awesome. When you look back and you're eternally grateful for the moments that you've had and shared, you're able to put peace with that journey and start anew."
Watch Irving break it all down in this clip from the introductory press conference, which also featured forward Gordon Hayward, who joined the Celtics as a free agent this off-season.
As part of the press conference, Irving also spoke about requesting the trade to "maximize [his] potential."
"Me leaving there wasn't about basketball," he said. "It was more or less about creating that foundation of me in Cleveland, and then, now, taking this next step as a 25-year-old evolving man and being the best basketball player I can be."
Teaming with King James, Irving averaged 25.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game for the Cavs last season. And the Celtics might be counting an even a greater output from the point guard, considering they traded a haul of players to acquire him.
The Celtics traded fellow All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick and threw in a 2020 second-round pick to finally and officially complete the deal Thursday.
Kyrie will quickly see how he's received back in Cleveland on October 17 when his Celtics visit LeBron and the Cavs in their 2017-18 season opener.
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(Photo from left: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images, Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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