Boston Celtics: 7x All-Star regrets trade demand that led to being on Cs

Former Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving regrets having asked for a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2017 (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Former Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving regrets having asked for a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2017 (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

Former Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving thought that the grass would be greener in 2017 when he requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers — a year removed from his first and only NBA Championship win, mind you — but it turned out that for him, only the jerseys were.

Irving landed on a squad that his Cavs had just knocked out in the Eastern Conference championship, directly replacing MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas on a team that just drafted its second No. 3 overall NBA draft pick (Jayson Tatum) in as many seasons after selecting Jaylen Brown at that slot in 2016. The Cs had also signed Gordon Hayward that summer.

By any stretch, it seemed like the 2017-18 Boston Celtics had the exact kind of supporting cast Kyrie was looking for. He did make the All-Star team in his first season, but unfortunately, once the team came within a game of the NBA Finals without him, facing off against his old team to boot, the clock was ticking on Irving’s time in Boston.

Since then, he’s moved on to the Brooklyn Nets and has enjoyed as much, if not more, drama than he did with the Cs. The West Orange-born Irving hasn’t been winning in New York City and has driven a star teammate (James Harden) to make his own trade demand.

Reflecting back after five long and arduous seasons, Irving admitted to Stadium’s Shams Charania that he regrets that initial trade demand (transcript via RealGM):

"“When I asked for a trade from Cleveland, the one thing that I look back on is: Did I exhaust as many opportunities to get closer to guys when I felt some type of difference? There was a lot of things that happened in the business that I didn’t understand. Asking for a trade — I don’t think it was my time to ask for a trade. And especially to go to Boston, who was No. 2 or No. 1 in our conference, it’s just right down the street. I’m grateful that I had my time there because it was one of the most historical franchises that again, I did not know the power of our industry.”“When I reflect on it, at 30 years old I can say I understand the business better, I understand the way that roles work, and if anybody can sit here honestly and say they messed up, it was me. Because if I’m saying that it is family-run and relationship-run, then while I was in these situations I didn’t handle all of those relationships as I would have wanted.”"

What Kyrie Irving should regret about his Boston Celtics tenure

There is no sugarcoating it: Kyrie Irving’s Boston Celtics tenure did a number on both parties. Irving himself continues to be hurt by how things have been since he left, but his presence most notably had a negative effect on Jaylen Brown, who was benched for Marcus Smart in 2018-19 after co-starring alongside Jayson Tatum during the 2018 postseason run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Irving’s biggest regret should be playing with one foot out the door during the 2018-19 season, secretly allowing Spencer Dinwiddie to court him in the middle of the season. Causing so much chaos before skipping town is why many Cs fans will never forgive him.