Kyrie Irving isn’t driven by beating the Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving has endured a tumultuous relationship with Boston Celtics fans since leaving the franchise in 2019. He must now face off against his former team as the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics go head-to-head in the NBA Finals. Irving has received significant praise for his personal growth and professionalism this season.

When speaking to ESPN’s SportsCenter shortly after the Mavericks overcame the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday (May 30), Irving remained humble when questioned on a potential return to Boston. He noted how his focus is on winning a championship, and the Celtics are the final hurdle.

“I had a rough time when I was in Boston,” Irving said. “Just dealing with death in my family, just a lot of off-court stuff that I wasn’t ready to handle. Now that I’m in a great place to be able to vocalize how I’m feeling, I’m ready to go back into Boston…We’re going against a great Boston team that has earned their way into the NBA Finals. I just see them as a formidable opponent. An honest opponent. And we’re going to see the best team that wins.”

Irving will likely face a hostile crowd in the TD Garden as Celtics fans look to give their team an edge and make homecourt advantage count. However, if he can remain focused on the task, he will be a tough opponent for the Celtics to contain and slow down. 

Fortunately for the Celtics, they have two of the best defensive guards in the NBA. Derrick White and Jrue Holiday will have big roles to play in the upcoming series.

How they fare against Irving and Luka Doncic will have a significant impact on which team lifts the championship in mid-June.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire