Kyrie Irving had been to three straight NBA Finals as a teammate of LeBron James, and the Cavs could have continued to dominate the East as long as James and Irving were together in Cleveland.
So his decision to walk away from a sure thing and try to become the focal point of his own championship-level team in Boston surprised some people. But not the Warriors' Draymond Green.
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“I wouldn't necessarily say it surprised me. I'd say more than anything, [it upped] the respect level I have for him,” Green said in a story posted on NBC Sports California. “That's tough to do. I don't think people take into account that he put so much pressure on himself by doing that . . .
“You have to deliver with that. He’s basically saying, ‘OK, I’m ready to deliver.’ . . . "
Green also admired the fact that Irving -- not a free agent -- couldn't pick and choose his destination.
“[He] could have gotten traded anywhere. 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 . . .
“[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.”