NBA: Ex-Cavs coach David Blatt calls Kyrie Irving trade request ‘brave’
Since freeing himself from LeBron James’ shadow, Kyrie Irving is enjoying his best season as pro, setting career highs in both points and assists while leading the Boston Celtics to an Eastern Conference best 26-7 record.
Although many were left baffled by the 25-year-old point guard’s decision to leave a good situation with perennial contenders Cleveland Cavaliers, the team’s former head coach, David Blatt, lauded Irving for his “brave” request.
“The first thing that hit me about it was that Kyrie made a very profound statement about himself when he requested a trade,” Blatt said in an interview with The Boston Herald.
“It’s a situation that hasn’t been easily interpreted by everyone. It was brave, and it’s one of those things that makes him a special kid.”
The 58-year-old bench boss declined to comment on James and Irving’s off-court relationship, but insisted that the change was needed for Kyrie “to fulfill his inner self.”
“Ky is the top dog, top of the totem pole, and he’s reveling in that,” Blatt said.
“Also incredible is the fact that he’s playing in a winning program. It’s up to him to do whatever it takes from here. This is where his potential is really going to come out, with the responsibilities of the team,” he added.
Before being let go by the Cavs in 2016, Blatt coached the crafty playmaker out of Duke for almost two seasons.
He returned to Europe and is currently the head coach of Darussafaka Dogus in Turkey. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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