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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt and AJ Neuharth-Keusch discuss a pair of surprising teams, but for different reasons.
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Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt described Kyrie Irving’s offseason trade request as “brave” in an interview with The Boston Herald last week

“The first thing that hit me about it was that Kyrie made a very profound statement about himself when he requested a trade,” Blatt told the newspaper. “It’s a situation that hasn’t been easily interpreted by everyone. It was brave, and it’s one of those things that makes him a special kid.”

Blatt coached Irving and the Cavaliers for less than two seasons before being fired in Jan. 2016 and returning to Europe, where he has spent most of his professional coaching career. He is currently the head coach of Darussafaka Dogus in Turkey.

Irving, who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cavaliers in 2011, requested a trade in mid-July and was later dealt to the Celtics as part of a massive deal that also included point guard Isaiah Thomas and forward Jae Crowder, among other pieces. The 25-year-old has since dodged questions about his reasoning for the request, though there has been speculation that he wanted to leave the shadow of LeBron James.

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Blatt declined to comment on the relationshp between James and Irving to The Boston Herald but said he wasn’t surprised by the move. Though he said he hasn’t spoken with Irving since the trade, Blatt believes Irving needed to make the…