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Kyrie Irving says asking for trade wasn’t about LeBron James

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Kyrie Irving gives his father, Drederick, his Celtics jersey after a news conference in Boston on Sept. 1.
(Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

Kyrie Irving said Friday that his decision to ask the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him was not about LeBron James but a desire to maximize his potential.

Irving and Gordon Hayward were introduced as members of the Boston Celtics, two days after the blockbuster trade was completed. Boston sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks to Cleveland for Irving. Hayward signed as a free agent in July.

Irving said he hasn’t spoken to James since the trade but is grateful for the time he spent alongside a player he called one of the game’s greats.

Hayward said he’s happy to be reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens. Hayward added that Stevens was the first person to make him believe that an NBA career was possible.

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