Kyrie Irving has claimed he felt disrespected at times before leaving the Brooklyn Nets for the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster trade on Sunday.
Irving demanded a trade from the Nets on Friday night after being presented with a contract offer he deemed unacceptable. The 30-year-old didn't have to wait long, and was dealt to the Mavericks on Sunday night in one of the biggest trades in recent years.
The All-Star guard reported for practice with his new team for the first time on Tuesday and was apparently the first player to arrive. Speaking afterwards, he opened up on his exit from Brooklyn and appeared to fire a parting shot at the organisation.
He said: "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. 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 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." Irving will likely make his debut for the Mavericks against the LA Clippers on Thursday night.