"Who wouldn't be a part of this?" Irving said, gesturing to Boston's new practice facility. "Who wouldn't want to be a part of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and Al Horford and Gordon Hayward? People keep saying, 'Why won't he commit to Boston?'
Irving, of course, noted the financial hit he'd have taken if he'd signed the extension, saying (per MacMullan):
"I'm accepting it's going to be a constant story ... It's a point in my professional career where it is a big-time decision. I've been away from Cleveland officially for a year now, and I'm finally getting acclimated in Boston. ... Last year it was almost like a trial. There was a lot going on. It was overwhelming at times, to be honest. The focus needed to be directed on getting better and helping my new team win a championship, instead of focusing on all the outside noise [leaving Cleveland] that affected me personally ... I was afraid to admit that initially, because I wanted to be prideful and handle everything. So, it's been a matter of figuring it out and growing."
"It only affects me when it affects my teammates. I keep them abreast of everything. We need to be communicating like that, because there are very few years where you get a chance to be a championship team -- unless you are Golden State."