We are seeing the greatness of Kyrie Irving and the birth of an all-time great at the same time that we are seeing a slight chink in the LeBron James empire that has spanned the last seven finals. Irving is answering all of the questions in his first season with the Boston Celtics Green Machine. 

The Shadow League on Twitter

Kyrie Irving is now a Boston Celtic: https://t.co/9sJ5zuybtb

He explicitly told everyone that when he left Cleveland after making it to three-straight NBA Finals playing alongside LeBron James that he wants to be in an environment, “that’s conducive to my potential. Be happy with a group of individuals that I can grow with.” 

That’s exactly what we are seeing take place at this moment in NBA history. Thursday night's 92-88 Celtics win over the defending World Champion Golden State Warriors was another page in a beautiful book being written by Kyrie with a Boston team that has won 14-straight games. Irving doesn't have to carry this team in the fourth quarter. He scored just 16 points, but had 11 of them in the fourth quarter and did all of the dirty work, including getting to the charity stripe eight times. Boston overcame 17-point deficits twice to snatch the win. 

WCVB-TV Boston on Twitter

MAKE IT 14 IN A ROW FOR THE CELTICS!!! ☘️❤️🏀 #Celtics beat the #NBA champion Golden State #Warriors! #GSvsBOS

 Some major players switched uniforms this offseason and none of them have matched Irving's impact on a rising Celtics team rich with a lethal blend of youthful exuberance and veteran savvy. Irving’s Celtics are 14-2 and looking down at 8-7 Cleveland in the standings. Irving's Boston transition has been seamless and he's already entrenched himself in the community. 

Only In Boston on Twitter

On Wednesday night, @Celtics players, including Kyrie Irving, treated the Boston Centers for Youth & Families to an early Thanksgiving meal. https://t.co/Djv4AhzAd9

The move is starting to make sense to the pessimists, who never took the time to understand where Kyrie was coming from. Most LeBron groupies and Cleveland fans made it appear as if Irving was jealous of James. Despite the Celtics winning the regular season Conference title in 2016-17, some even suggested that Kyrie was going to a “worse” team just so he can be “the man.” 

Kyrie Irving had a plan. He wasn’t going to spend time thinking about it or talking to the media about it. He couldn't’ be deterred. He was criticized for wanting to leave Cleveland and almost villainized for not wanting to play under the shadow of King James. They called him selfish and delusional and accused him of making a mistake that he will regret. How would little old Kyrie survive without the world’s best basketball executioner there to carry him? 

Kyrie, as soft spoken and non confrontational as he appears, spoke loudly through his actions about how he felt about himself as a player.  

Stadium on Twitter

@KyrieIrving tells @FirstTake he didn't leave LeBron and the Cavs out of being selfish or wanting to be the man. https://t.co/5gzvN8ijWA

His move was pure Alpha Male. No need to confer with LeBron about the trade demand. No need to discuss a damn thing. Irving wanted to continue to evolve as an elite baller, the second-to-none player that he always envisioned himself as being. That could never happen being smothered and stunted by the presence of an icon that some blasphemously proclaim is better than Sole King No. 1, Michael Jordan. Kyrie offered no juicy fodder for social media maniacs following his forced trade to Boston, but he didn’t have to. He knew that everything would play out during the season.  

He was already one up when he removed himself from Cleveland. It was nothing personal against a city that raised him from a baby coming out of Duke to the championship caliber man he is today. He just decided to chase his dreams and let Bron figure it out on his own. Go to a place where his game winning shots and explosive playoff efforts count for something. When it was reported that Isiah Thomas’ hip recovery would have him sidelined until January the earliest, Kyrie was up two points in the game against LeBron for the Eastern Conference’s most impactful player recognition. The fact that he has changed his environment, is a happier and healthier player and is inspired to play some defense, is the slam dunk on this entire ordeal. He's at peace. 

Kyrie Irving | Celtics Mix ᴴᴰ

Kyrie Irving has been going crazy on the Celtics, they have been beating everyone!

It’s a long road ahead, but it’s a road Irving can live with because he’s driving the bus. He’s envisioning that meeting with King James and Cleveland late in the playoffs when the eyes of the basketball world will be focused on Irving vs. James Part 1. Irving’s ultimate goal is to be Kobe after he broke up with Shaq and lead a team that he helped build with a culture that he helped foster to the promised land. Boston's Phantom of The Handle has a tough task ahead,  but so far he’s off to a great start.