Kyrie Irving hails Boston as a 'real, live sports city'

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But the 25-year-old, who grew up in West Orange, N.J., said he's glad to be back on the East Coast and somewhere that's not as mundane as his old stomping ground. Coming from Cleveland, the Midwest, where the culture is different.

He lauded Boston and its sports culture Wednesday, just days before he will return to Cleveland for the first time as an opposing player in the season opener.

"You would go to Cleveland, and it would be at nighttime, and things would be going on, but you just see a vast difference in terms of what the Midwest is - Cleveland - and what Boston is", Irving said to the Globe.

Irving isn't the first or the last athlete to take a shot at Cleveland.

During his six-year career, Irving has achieved plenty of individual success, including Rookie of the Year, All-Star Game MVP and a selection to the All-NBA Third Team.

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Irving softened his comments after the Celtics' 108-100 win over Charlotte Wednesday night.

Irving played his high school ball in New Jersey, before departing for a single season to play collegiately at Duke in North Carolina. "Getting used to seeing the green and white, getting enriched with the Celtics organization and the culture, getting used to the city - I was an opponent going into Boston. You get it all, especially in Boston", Irving told reporters.

"You see (the championship banners) just walking into our practice facility now".

Kyrie Irving isn't being subtle: He wants you to know that Cleveland is a bad city, and Boston is better.

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