Kyrie Irving says playing in Boston feels like “I’m really playing in a real, live sports city”

Kurt Helin
NBC Sports

This isn’t going to play well in Cleveland.

Kyrie Irving is an East Coast guy, he grew up in New Jersey (which is on the East Coast even if the rest of the states there don’t want to claim it). He likes the pace of life there. Now, after six years in Cleveland, he is back on his preferred coast in Boston.

He was talking about that move before a preseason game and said this, via the Charlotte Observer.

“It’s exciting to be back on the East Coast,” said Irving, who grew up in New Jersey. “It’s fast-paced. A lot of different cultures, food and people. You get it all, especially in Boston.

“You would go to Cleveland, and it would be at nighttime, and things would be going on, but you just see a vast difference.”

A difference, too, Irving said between Boston and Cleveland as sports cities: “Boston, I’m driving in and (thinking), ‘I’m really playing in a real, live sports city?’ ”

Real sports City? Did he mean to say that?

Is Boston a bigger city, does it offer more nightlife/entertainment options? Yes. Is it more culturally diverse? Yes (although Cleveland does better than people think in this regard.) Is the pace of life faster and more to Irving’s liking? Clearly.

But Clevelander’s love their sports teams. LOVE them. Even the Browns, who have done little to earn that love for years. Cleveland is a great sports town — and Irving will always be part of that legacy because he hit the series-clinching three over Stephen Curry that won the city its first pro sports title in five decades. He had to have seen the passion, the emotion that came with that.

Bostonians love their sports teams, too. They stuck with the Red Sox through a century of heartbreak. But is it a “real sports city” compared to Cleveland. Come on man.

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