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Kyrie Irving weighs in on Celtics "cult," warns future players "what you're getting yourself into" in Boston

Kyrie Irving says "there's no fear" returning to Boston for NBA Finals
Kyrie Irving says "there's no fear" returning to Boston for NBA Finals 01:44

BOSTON – Kyrie Irving isn't quite done talking about the issues he had during his time in Boston.

Kyrie Irving on Celtics "cult"

Ahead of NBA Finals Game 5 against his former team, a reporter asked the Dallas Mavericks guard what it is like for a player to come to Boston. The question was about expectations players have every time they step into TD Garden and see the banners hanging in the rafters.

"So you have to show your respect here. I think that's what I struggled with initially, was figuring out how I'm going to be a great player here while winning championships and also leading a team and selflessly joining the Celtics' organization or the cult that they have here," Irving said. "That's what they expect you to do as a player. They expect you to seamlessly buy into the Celtics' pride, buy into everything Celtics. And if you don't, then you'll be outed."

What Kyrie Irving would have done different in Boston

Irving then noted that he is one of the players "on the outs."

"I'm one of the people that's on the outs," Irving said with a laugh. "I'm perfectly fine with that, you know what I mean. I did it to myself. They don't welcome me with a warm embrace, even though I know a lot of people in the organization and I'm friends still with some of them," Irving said. "But, yeah, doing it to myself. And that's what I was talking about in terms of accepting the choices. But looking back, I would have shown my respect and have more of a council around me from some of the Boston Celtics that came before me to explain what the pressure is like."

After being traded from Cleveland to Boston, Irving was viewed by Celtics fans as the next hope for an 18th championship banner. But things quickly went south, and after leaving for Brooklyn, Irving became the No. 1 "bad guy" in the eyes of Celtics fans.

"You just expect to have a magnifying glass on you everywhere you go. I don't think Boston appreciates being kind of second class to New York in terms of the media capital of the world, but this is the media capital of the world as well. There's a lot of history here off the court," Irving said. "The community has integrated into the Celtics' team. That's probably the best way I could say it. The community is what makes the Celtics great here, the Boston pandemonium. That's what makes this space so loud and so special, and they take pride in it."

A warning for future players

Irving concluded his remarks about Boston with a warning for anyone considering playing for the Celtics.

"If any player is coming here, getting drafted here, thinking about coming here for free agency, getting traded here, I just think do your homework and make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. That's something I could offer," Irving said. 

Irving is likely to hear it from the TD Garden crowd at least one more time. Game 5 is scheduled for Monday at 8:30 p.m. With a win, the Celtics would claim another title.

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