Kyrie Irving opens up about the boos and chants he received from Celtics fans

"I've got nothing but love for Boston, nothing but love for the journey I had with all those guys."

Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving greeted Celtics guard Marcus Smart and forward Jayson Tatum after the game.
Kyrie Irving said he "has nothing but love for the journey" he went through with his ex-Celtics teammates. –AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Kyrie Irving seems to have changed his tune on how he feels about Celtics fans booing and chanting his name in a negative fashion.

In his first media session since the game that was supposed to be his return to Boston in November, Irving was asked about the criticism he received for leaving the Celtics.

Irving said he understood why Celtics fans felt the way they did toward him on that November night.

“The big picture, when I started playing basketball, you realize that a lot of variables come into play with this,” Irving said. “I do it because I love it. But at the end of the day, it’s entertainment. Fans love to be entertained…People are going to say regardless of whatever they feel. I respect that.”

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After the game ended that night, Irving responded to the crowd’s actions on Instagram, calling sports and entertainment “ignorant and obtrusive.”

Irving explained that he was upset the game that night had become about him and not about the players on the court.

“I think that I myself kind of fell into that cycle of being emotionally attached to something like that, especially when I’m watching the game at home with my family, much to the fact that it wasn’t about the players on the floor during that day,” Irving said. “It became about me and where I was and what I was doing. For basketball to become more about just one individual player, and it’s a team sport, just to justify market value or bringing more fans to the games or justifying why all that stuff happens, so be it. That’s entertainment.”

At the end of the day, Irving says he has no harsh feelings towards the Celtics.

“I’ve got nothing but love for Boston, nothing but love for the journey I had with all those guys,” Irving said.

Irving also stated his appreciation for ex-teammates like Marcus Smart, who said he was tired of hearing and talking about Irving’s departure from Boston.

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“I appreciate everyone standing up for me and speaking on my behalf and telling it’s not all my fault, it’s not all on him,” Irving said. “I’m a man. I’m able to take criticism. I haven’t taken it well in the past.”

Irving is still sidelined with a right shoulder injury and there is no timetable on his return.