Kyrie Irving: Playing in London a mark ‘off the bucket list’

Kyrie Irving (NBAE/Getty)

Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving is thrilled to be taking to the O2 Arena floor, admitting that it’s something to mark off his bucket list.

The former Cavaliers point guard was the marquee trade of the season for Boston, and has helped them to the number one spot in the East ahead of his former side.

And going into the game with Philadelphia, Irving has hailed his participation in the UK occasion.

“It’s great to meet fans of basketball and fans of sport and I get to mark off my bucket list playing at the O2 Arena. I can’t wait for that experience.” he said.

“To have the opportunity to come to London and grow the game of basketball for the NBA.

“The world of sport has a way of connecting people all over and I appreciate being one of pioneers of that.”

The 25-year-old is looking forward to getting on-court, but he’s also acutely aware of the threat posed by Philadelphia, a side he’s now faced up against twice this season so far.

“It’ll be an up and down pace – those guys are young and active and they do a great job.” he added.

“Ben Simmons especially is doing a great job and playing at an unbelievable pace and being aggressive.

“For us, we just have to play with our unique intensity on the defensive end and make them uncomfortable and really put on a show for the fans and bring the Celtic pride over here in London.

“We’re just going to go back out there and acclimate ourselves to playing NBA basketball again.

“We’ve been off for about three days now and I know the guys are pretty fresh and ready to get back out there.

“Focus is on the game, we’ll prepare as we always do and it’s our job to go and put on a show.”

The Philadelphia 76ers host the Boston Celtics at The O2 in London on Jan. 11 as part of NBA London Game 2018. The game is live on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS.

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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