As Kyrie Irving continues to make the media rounds to promote his movie "Uncle Drew", which opens Friday, in comments to a New York radio station, he comes across as a guy who loves Boston and his coach.
Irving, of course, has remained non-committal about his long-term future in Boston after this season when he can opt out and become a free agent next summer, but in talking to WQHT-FM - a.k.a. Hot 97 in New York Wednesday, he lauded the "history-enriched environment" of the Celtics and "one of the most profound things I've heard" that came from his coach - Brad Stevens.
"Going to Boston, a really intimate environment, it almost reminds me of going back to college," Irving said. "It’s just so history-enriched. Seeing all those legends every single day on the wall is a constant reminder of where you are. And I appreciate that."
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And that profound thing Stevens told him?
It came up when he was asked about the inevitable comparisons between LeBron James and Michael Jordan that have become the rage after James took an otherwise middling Cavs team to the NBA Finals and, among some observers, has challenged Jordan's NBA GOAT status.
Irving said Stevens used the Teddy Roosevelt quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy" to tell him to appreciate the here and now.
"That right there is one of the most profound things I've ever heard," Irving said. "Because everytime in my life when you're watching someone else, you see a moment that's so pure and you try and compare it to something else. But then it just completely pulls [the joy] away instead of just appreciating it."
Here's the full interview: