While he was fairly quiet up until word broke this week that the Celtics and Cavaliers had finally agreed on compensation in the Kyrie Irving blockbuster, the star point guard has issued some public comments on the deal since then. As Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com details, Irving published a video farewell to the Cavs and their fans on Thursday, thanking them for his time in Cleveland.
On Friday, the Celtics formally introduced Irving alongside Gordon Hayward, and the point guard was asked about his relationship with LeBron James (link via Vardon). While some of Irving’s comments during the press conference hinted that he wanted to get out from under LeBron’s shadow, he had nothing but praise for his former teammate when asked specifically about him, calling it “awesome” to have played with the future Hall-of-Famer: “I’d be telling you guys a lie if I didn’t tell you how much I learned from that guy.”
Here’s more on Irving, along with a few more Cavs notes:
- In a piece for USA Today, Sam Amick examines how the Cavs’ organizational culture and stability (or lack thereof) may have contributed to Irving’s desire to head elsewhere, not to mention the uncertainty about James’ future in Cleveland.
- Within an article about the larger issue of tampering in the NBA, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com notes that it would likely be futile for teams interested in signing James next summer to start courting him now, since LeBron “is known for wanting to have the control rather than be wooed.”
- The Cavaliers’ agreement with Goodyear, the sponsor for the club’s jersey patches, is worth nearly $12MM annually, a league source tells McMenamin.
- The Cavs recently scrapped plans for a $140MM renovation project to Quicken Loans Arena, prompting some speculation that owner Dan Gilbert may be interested in moving the franchise. Gilbert addressed those “silly” rumors on Thursday, assuring fans that he’ll never move the Cavs out of Cleveland (Twitter link).
- Sources outside the Cavs organization believe Gilbert could consider selling the team within the next few years, but a team spokesman said no thought has been given to a sale, per Joe Vardon.