Kyrie Irving broke his silence on ESPN's "First Take" about why it was time to move on from the Cavs.
"It was interesting, interesting, six years and you think about how the journey transcended my career. From starting in the first three years, that was a picture in itself and the last three years you think about those finite moments that defined you as a player and as a man."
When fans and analysts learned that Irving's departure was true, it was a moment that shocked many, especially since Irving played alongside LeBron James and went to the Finals two years in a row.
Irving said he is "appreciative" that he was able to play with some of the best players and coaches but he realized that he had to do what was best for him and his career.
"I just felt it was in my best intentions to leave."
Irving agreed it was a decision that was percolating for a while and he didn't want to be a distraction for the team during the Finals.
"I was just very patient in my approach. Understanding the magnitude of the moment. 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.
The balance to find himself on the court and off the court was a balance for Irving.
"As 25-year-old man coming to the courts every day to perfect his craft, Irving said he wanted to be in an environment where I felt like I could be taught every single day and have that demand from my coach instead of having a demand from a franchise that would propel me to see how far I could go," Irving said.