Kyrie Irving has a new team. After six seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the All-Star point guard asked to be traded, and back in July, the Cavs obliged; sending him to the Boston Celtics in part of a three-team deal that also featured Isaiah Thomas heading for Cleveland. Irving and the Celtics open the new NBA season in dramatic fashion when they visit his former team Tuesday, Oct. 17 on TNT.
A one-and-done college phenomenon, Irving spent one season at Duke and decided to forgo his other three years of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft in 2011. Cleveland had just come off a dismal 19-63 season (their first without LeBron James who had signed the previous summer with Miami), and was looking to rebuild. They took Irving with the first overall pick in the draft, as well as Tristan Thompson with the fourth pick. Progress came slowly, but Irving did earn Rookie of the Year honors in 2012 and was the NBA All-Star Game’s MVP two years later in 2014.
Prior to the 2014-15 season, James opted to return to Cleveland, which also acquired Kevin Love, and “The Big Three” in Cleveland was born. The result was three straight trips to the NBA Finals, all against the Golden State Warriors, and a championship in 2016; the city’s first in any pro sport in 52 years.
But Irving said he wanted a new environment, and that’s what’s he’s got in Boston, who played the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals this past season.
Kyrie Andrew Irving
Born: March 23, 1992
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Height/Weight: 6 foot 3 inches / 193 pounds
Teams: Boston Celtics, 2017-present; Cleveland Cavaliers, 2011-17
Drafted: 2011, Round 1, Pick 1
Honors and Achievements: NBA Champion, 2016; NBA All-Star, 2013–2015, 2017; NBA All-Star Game MVP, 2014; Rookie of the Year, 2012; Olympic Gold Medalist, 2016