However, this hasn’t stopped the former Cavaliers point guard from downplaying his return to Cleveland, as he continues to express how the Celtics are better organized and have more culture than his former team. Irving is also looking forward to the new season and is excited about the expectations set by Danny Ainge and the Celtics.
“It’s been a lot more than I expected because, even though you hear so much about the Boston Celtics, you can only really truly understand if you’re blessed enough to throw on a Boston jersey and be enriched in the culture,” said Irving. “Just look at the banners around [the team’s practice facility], man. This is every single day we understand what the tradition and culture were built here and what we’re trying to uphold, and what we’re trying to accomplish as the current Boston Celtics players.
“It’s a high price, and it’s high expectations, but it’s well worth it. It’s so exciting to see just the amount of culture that’s here, man. That’s what I’m more excited about. I feel it, I know it. I know I’ve only been here for a short amount of time, but the reception has been awesome, in terms of me getting traded here and seeing everybody here and all the fans and how excited they are for the season to get started.”
Even though he’s looking forward to seeing familiar faces, Irving says he won’t let the hype distract him and Celtics’ objective on opening night, which is winning.
“The excitement and the energy is there, but I think everything extra has been created by outside influence. So that’s neither here nor there. I don’t know what that reality is. I don’t necessarily concern myself with that because, if I do, I’d really be doing myself a disservice and my teammates a disservice of trying to figure out whether or not I want to give some distractions or specific people energy in terms of what they’re saying or what they think about what’s going on.
“Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. I respect it. But it’s my job to go out there and be the best I can be for my teammates and ultimately try to win every single game and put myself and my teammates in a great position to win. It’s going to happen regardless. That’s just the nature of the business. I understand that. But that reality, I leave that for other people.”
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