Celtics

Kyrie Irving says he didn't owe LeBron James explanation for trade request

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Kyrie Irving says he didn't owe LeBron James explanation for trade request

With one word, Kyrie Irving seemingly confirmed everyone’s suspicions about his relationship with former teammate. 

Irving, who requested a trade from the Cavaliers this offseason and was eventually dealt to Boston, said during an appearance on “First Take” that he had not given James a heads-up of his trade request. Told by Stephen A. Smith that given James’ standing as the best player in the world and the leader of that team, such silence could be taken personally. 

“Yeah,” Irving responded. 

The four-time All Star expanded on his answer by saying that he didn’t owe James or anybody else anything. 

"I don't think you owe anything to another person in terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life,” Irving said. “It's not anything personal. I’m not here to tirade anybody. I’m not here to go at any particular person or the organization because I have nothing but love for Cleveland. I have nothing but love for the times that I spent there. It's nothing about that. There comes a time where you mature as an individual. It’s time to make that decision. There is no looking back from that standpoint. There is no time to figure out how to save someone’s feelings when ultimately you have to be selfish in that in figuring out what you want to do. It wasn't about me not wanting to win, it wasn't anything about that. I want to be extremely, extremely happy in perfecting my craft and that was the only intent that I had in all of this." 

Added Irving: ”I think that it got much more attention because everybody else started coming out from who would think that their important opinion mattered most. I saw previous players, I saw past players, I saw current players speaking on something that had absolutely nothing to do with them. I’m appreciative of their comments, but at the same time, it’s ultimately my decision.”

Irving and James will have to communicate soon enough, as the C's and Cavaliers open the 2017-18 season against one another Oct. 17 in Cleveland.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”

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James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”

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