The Boston Celtics will formally introduce former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving -- as well as free agent forward Gordon Hayward -- at a Friday morning press conference.
Live updates to follow:
- Irving calls his career in Cleveland "an unbelievable journey" and an "unbelievable ride." Says he won't point fingers for his desire for a departure, but is looking forward to the opportunity ahead.
- Asked about the burden of carrying the Celtics franchise, Irving says he doesn't believe that responsibility falls on any one player. "The teams get remembered more than the players," he says. Notes the Celtics storied history, from both a team and player standpoint.
- Celtics GM Danny Ainge declines to comment about his communication with the Cavs over the past week as the two teams discussed additional compensation.
- Irving admits to asking for a trade. Says it's the most human thing he could have done and calls the decision "courageous." Says he's been "patiently waiting" through the entire process.
- Asked specifically about the last week as the trade waited to be finalized, Irving reiterates that he was patient. Says he cursed twice and ran out on the street to Atlanta when he learned the trade finally went through.
- Irving asked about now competing with the Cavs, he says that he'll defer to coach Brad Stevens from a strategic standpoint. Says the team has yet to meet collectively. "I'm just finally happy to get my jersey on this stage," he says.
- Stevens says "we all know what we're shooting for," in reference to Boston's championship aspirations. "It's going to be a fun growth process."
- Asked about playing for Stevens, Irving references the head coach's intelligence and calls it an "equatable" offense relative to every player's skill on the floor. "It's a constant wave in the game. It can change. It can go up and go down."
- Gordon Hayward asked about his relationship with Irving. Notes visit with Cavs in 2014. "Then LeBron came and that kind of squashed that." Irving laughs as Hayward notes that their journey has come "full circle."
- Kyrie: "We'll be tested in a number of ways." Notes the pressure the team is already receiving, despite so many new pieces having been put together."
- Irving admits that Brad Stevens' offensive system was a big reason why he favored coming to the Celtics.
- Kyrie asked about relationship with LeBron. Says he hasn't spoken to him since asking for trade. Calls relationship between them "special." Says he's at peace with that journey and is looking forward to starting anew. "Now that I'm sitting here, it just echos in terms of being appreciative of not only the Cleveland fans, but all of Ohio and Bron and that special team we had."
- Kyrie: "The brotherhood exists, even without all of this."
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