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Kyrie Irving Explains Why He Left The Cavaliers And Why He Defended Kehlani

By Daryl Nelson

When Kyrie Irving left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Boston Celtics last year, the general consensus was that he did it because of LeBron James. Obviously, LeBron runs the show in Cleveland, and Kyrie wanted to go someplace where he could be the No. 1 guy.

But in an interview with Hot 97, the 6'3" point guard said being the No. 1 guy was never the reason, and the decision had to do with happiness.

"I think even the perception of wanting to be 'the guy,' I just wanted to be genuinely happy," he explained. "After a while, being in that [Cleveland] environment, it wasn't conducive for me at the time. Going to Boston, a really intimate environment, it almost reminds me of going back to college. It's [so] history-enriched and seeing all those legends on the wall every day is a constant reminder of where you are."

Kyrie also said the move was about trying to set up his career in the perfect way as he gets older. 

"You come to a point in your career where you really just start taking responsibility for how you want to shape your career," he said. "It's going to take getting rid of some old habits, coming to terms with emotions that you have, being a young kid ... It was coming to a point where I just had to let go. I had an unbelievable six years with Cleveland. I love them to death ... Then we do something historic like bring a championship to Cleveland. Then afterward, it's like, we part ways."

In another part of the interview, the Duke alum talked about Kehlani and how he stuck up for her when she was accused of cheating on him with PARTYNEXTDOOR. In now-deleted tweets, Kyrie said he wasn't dating Kehlani when a photo of her and Party came out, which was right around the time she tried to commit suicide.

"One, I don't want to ever see a strong woman go through that. They have to be twice as gnarly as we do as men in this world," Kyrie told the Hot 97 hosts. "I think that when they started getting into her profession, people on behalf of me, wearing my jersey to her concerts, I was like, 'I don't need that.' For us it was more or less cementing our friendship."

Check the interview below:

Posted In: News Sports Kyrie Irving

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