Kyrie 'felt very disrespected' in Brooklyn
Kyrie Irving "felt very disrespected" during his time with the Brooklyn Nets, he said after joining the Dallas Mavericks.
Irving was traded by the Nets to the Mavericks after a tumultuous four years in Brooklyn.
The eight-time All-Star joined the Nets alongside Kevin Durant in 2019, but the pair were unable to deliver success together.
Injuries, along with Irving's absence as he was unvaccinated at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, limited the two superstars to only 71 starts together.
Irving pushed for a trade ahead of Thursday's deadline and was granted his move to the Mavericks before explaining why he wanted to leave Brooklyn.
"I just know I want to be places where I'm celebrated and not just tolerated or dealt with in a way that doesn't make me feel respected," he said.
"There were times during this process where I was in Brooklyn and just felt very disrespected, my talent.
"I work extremely hard at what I do; nobody ever talks about my work ethic, everyone talks about what I'm doing off the floor. I want to change that narrative, write my own story, continue to prepare in the gym, and now I'm in Dallas, control what I can control.
"I'm always going to be close with those guys in Brooklyn, like I am with those guys in Boston, like I am with those guys in Cleveland.
"It's a team competitive sport, but we care about each other's families way more off the court. I know those relationships will extend, I'm just preparing to win.
"I'm not the person to really speak on names or go to someone behind their back and leak stuff to the media, that's never been me.
"I've been an audience member seeing people say things about me that ultimately just fall off my shoulder. I'm in a place I'm grateful I got to grow into.
"I spent time off the basketball court that gave me the time to appreciate life in a new way.
"I know I need healthy boundaries. Especially in this entertainment business, there's a lot of disrespect that goes on with people's names and their families; I'm just not with it.
"It's nothing personal against those guys in the front office, it's just what I'm willing to accept.
"I took a chance and luckily the Dallas Mavericks picked me up. It's just all what I can control."