Cavaliers respond to Kyrie Irving comments

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue directs the team against the Chicago Bulls during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Cleveland, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. The Bulls won 108-94. (AP Photo/Phil Long)
AP Photo/Phil Long

Kyrie Irving, traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics over the summer, didn’t mince his words in comparing the cities, calling Boston “a real, live sports city” in contrast to Cleveland, which Irving described as, “it would be at nighttime, and things would be going on, but you just see a vast difference.”

Cavaliers personnel has since commented on Irving’s ribbing.

“Oh, I thought he was talking about Cleveland,” head coach Tyronn Lue told Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I’m happy to be here. I thought he was talking about Cleveland the whole time.”

It was already a dramatic lead-up to the new season, with Irving and the Celtics facing the Cavaliers to open the schedule. Lue was asked if the Celtics guard’s comments were more fuel to the fire.

“I don’t know,” Lue said. “He can do what he wants to do. But we know in Cleveland, we have a great sports town in Cleveland. A great city, fans behind the teams 100 percent, so I’m happy to be here.”

First-year Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade essentially stayed neutral in regards to Irving’s remarks, but chimed in with his perspective.

“I never want to leave a place and talk s— about a place,” he said. “Because when you were there, it was great, and then you leave, it’s terrible? It’s just like players. Fans celebrate players when they’re there, and then they leave, and it’s the worst thing. That’s not me. That’s not how I do things. I’m appreciative of what people have done for me, what organizations have done for me, and I hope they’re appreciative of whatever I can bring or whatever I’ve done — on and off the court. So, it doesn’t always go that way, but that’s the way I try to make it when I can control it.”

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