kyrie irving diplomatic on lebron james reunion

13:24    13 Jun 2018

Kyrie Irving
Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving has downplayed the possibility of playing in National Basketball Association with LeBron James at Cleveland Cavaliers next season.

The Celtics guard deferred on Tuesday when asked about the possibility of the team pursuing James this summer, saying the 33-year-old James has a player option to remain in Cleveland next season, but could opt for free agency.

Having been drafted as No. 1 overall by the Cavaliers in 2011, Irving played three seasons with James, from 2014-17 and the duo made three straight trips to the NBA Finals, winning a championship in 2016.

However, he was traded to Boston in August 2017 and averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists over 60 games in his first season with the Celtics.

The five-time All-Star missed the last 15 games of the regular season and the entirety of the playoffs after undergoing left knee surgery.

Moreover, he also had a separate surgery in May to repair a deviated septum, a procedure that kept him away from the sidelines for Game 7 of the Celtics’ Eastern Conference Finals series against James and the Cavaliers.

”In this business, I’ve kind of experienced it all and I’ve seen a lot, so we’ll see what management decides,” Irving said.

”Obviously, it’s a business at the end of the day,” Irving said. ”Ownership and management, they’re going to feel what’s best for our future and I’m fully supportive of (them). We’ll see what happens.

”To kind of have something like that unexpected, it was hurtful, because just a lot of what I wanted to accomplish with our guys and individually as one of the leaders of the team.

”Obviously, it wasn’t going to feel the same (not being there), but I was just so proud of our guys and what they did.

”They passed a lot of expectations, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Cleveland beat Boston 87-79 in Game 7 to send James to his eighth consecutive Finals series and Celtics expect Irving to be completely recovered by the start of training camp in the fall.

”I’m feeling good,” Irving added. ”It was going to be a process coming back, just making sure I’m healthy enough for September. Just trying not to push it too hard.”

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