During the show, Smith asked: "Are you prepared to deal with - unintentional or not - are you prepared to deal with the distraction that you are going to be just because you're that good and you made a decision to leave Cleveland and you ended up in Boston?"
The internet responded to Irving's comments regarding James and how the trade unfolded.
"I was just very patient in my approach", Irving replied. He said at his introductory press conference with the Celtics that he had not spoken to James.
Smith responded: "If you don't speak to somebody, they might take it personally".
Irving denied that his departure had anything to do with James, but rather his own desire to develop as a person and basketball player.
Smith: Do you care about that at all?
"I think we're forgetting one important thing", Irving said. I'm not here to go at any particular person nor the organization, because I have nothing but love for Cleveland. I wasn't going to allow anything else to get in the way of our team's success so I was just very diligent and very professional in terms of this whole entire process and the request came at a time where I felt it deemed right for me. There's no looking back from that standpoint. "There is no time to figure out how to save someone's feelings when ultimately you have to be selfish in figuring out what you want to do".
"It wasn't about me not wanting to win, it wasn't anything about that". Among the topics Irving covered with hosts Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman was the report that the 25-year-old didn't personally inform Cavs star LeBron James of his trade request. "And that was the only the intent that I had in all of this".
Irving left a potential extension on the line to wear a Celtics jersey, a proposition that could prove costly in the long run, cutting him short of millions of dollars by choosing to leave the team that drafted him.