Kyle Terada-USA Today

Draymond Green praises Kyrie Irving for going to Celtics

Lucy Burdge
September 13, 2017 - 10:32 am

Draymond Green told reporters on Tuesday he admires Kyrie Irving for leaving LeBron James and the Cavaliers to join the Celtics. 

“I wouldn't necessarily say it surprised me. I'd say more than anything, [it upped] the respect level I have for him,” the Warriors forward said. “That's tough to do. I don't think people take into account that he put so much pressure on himself by doing that.” 

Irving had shown a desire to get out from under James’s shadow and was all in on being traded to the Celtics. 

“But the willingness to do that, knowing the pressure that comes with that, and saying ‘I'm ready to do it. Let’s do it.' That's what stood out to me, more than anything,” Green said. “ … It’s not the surprise of, ‘Hey, Kyrie wants to leave.’ That happens all the time; it happened with Shaq [O’Neal] and Kobe [Bryant], and it’s happened with a ton of other guys in the NBA over the course of the years,” Green said. “But for him to be willing to step out and say [I want to do my own thing] is big.”

“He wasn’t a free agent. So he could have gotten traded anywhere,” Green continued. “But he pretty much said, ‘I don’t care where I go. I’m going to make it happen.’ That says a lot about who he is, as a competitor. His character. That says a lot about him.”

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