It’s fair to say Kyrie Irving is a polarizing NBA superstar.

Was he selfish for demanding a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer because he wanted to escape LeBron James’ shadow? Or was it a commendable request seeing as how it stemmed from his desire to reach his maximum potential as a franchise player?

Either way, Irving doesn’t seem to care what others thinks. And the Boston Celtics point guard recently told Bleacher Report that leaving Cleveland was the best move for his career, especially with James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason and leaving the Cavs stuck in semi-rebuild mode.

Stephen A. Smith is among those who loved Irving’s comments. He explained why on Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” even comparing Irving’s mentality to that of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

It’s hard to dispute things have worked out well for Irving in Boston thus far, even though the 26-year-old underwent season-ending surgery last season and the Celtics fell to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals. The C’s look like they’ll be NBA title contenders for several years, and Irving recently indicated he’d like to be part of the organization’s long-term plans.

Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images