Tuesday's NBA regular season opener between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers now has even more intrigue thanks to comments Kyrie Irving made on Wednesday when comparing his new city (Boston) to his old one (Cleveland).
Irving says he already prefers Beantown to Believeland because it's a "real, love sports city." Here is what he told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
"It’s a really major city. Coming from Cleveland, the Midwest, where the culture is different. And then you move to the East Coast — into Boston — and it’s so real [and] alive. An ongoing, thriving city. Consistently. No matter what hour throughout the night.
"You would go to Cleveland, and it would be at nighttime, and things would be going on, but you just see a vast difference in terms of what the Midwest is — Cleveland — and what Boston is. Boston, I’m driving in and [thinking], ‘I’m really playing in a real, live sports city?’ And a great city."
Surely Cavs fans won't take offense to that, right?
Irving, whether he truly wanted to or not, kind of needled his former fans there. By comparing and contrasting the two and saying Boston is a "real, live sports city" he is suggesting that Cleveland is not.
First of all, the comparision in terms of sports cities is a tough one. No city has been more fortunate than Boston when it comes to professional sports success while Cleveland has been among the worst. It's much easier to root for good teams than bad ones.
But aside from that debate, it seems unnecessary for Irving to take what could be considered a shot at his former team and city. Now he has to return there on Tuesday for the season opener following an offseason where he asked for and received a trade after his team made the NBA Finals. That game may be worth watching simply to see how the Cleveland fans treat Irving, who clearly isn't their favorite player right now.
Between the Celtics, Cavs and Wizards, the NBA's Eastern Conference has a pretty solid hate triangle going on right now. Get your popcorn ready.