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Kyrie Irving shows gratitude to Boston Celtics for 'getting me out of Cleveland'

"What more can you ask for just from an organization taking a chance, as well as getting me out of Cleveland," Kyrie Irving said of his decision to commit to the Boston Celtics.

On Thursday evening, Kyrie Irving announced his intentions to sign a long-term contract with Boston Celtics next summer.

But before looking forward with his current team, Irving decided to look back, taking what could be construed as a swipe at his former franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I’m happy here. Every single day is at an all-time competitive high," Irving said. "What more can you ask for just from an organization taking a chance, as well as getting me out of Cleveland and really taking a chance regardless of whether or not I was going to sign back or not."

Irving, of course, infamously demanded a trade from Cleveland in the summer of 2017, despite the Cavs having come three straight NBA Finals appearances. In August of that year, Cleveland agreed to a deal sending Irving to the Celtics, in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and first-round pick that ultimately became rookie point guard Collin Sexton.

Although Irving found plenty of success in his first season in Boston, averaging 24.4 points and 5.1 assists, injuries cost the 5-time All-Star 22 regular season games, as well as the entirety of the Celtics' playoff run. The Cavs would go on to beat Boston in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Entering the final year of his contract, there had been plenty of speculation surrounding what Irving might do next summer, with rumors linking the New Jersey native to the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. At a season ticket holder event on Thursday, however, Irving announced his intentions to re-sign with the Celtics next summer, a pledge he reaffirmed while meeting with reporters on Friday.

"I believe in it," Irving said. "I believe in the franchise, I believe in the organization and the players we have here."

Coincidentally, the Celtics will be in Cleveland in Saturday, where they will face the Cavs in preseason action. Irving reportedly won't make the trip.

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