All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving sparked angst online Monday after he appeared on ESPN’s "First Take" and told Stephen A. Smith that he never spoke to former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James before he requested a trade from the team in July. When Smith asked why, Irving replied, "Why would I have to?"

"There is no time to figure out how to save somebody's feelings when ultimately you have to be selfish in figuring out what you want to do," Irving said. "There comes a time where you mature as an individual, it's time to make that decision. and there is no looking back from that standpoint."

Irving and James brought an NBA championship to the Cavaliers in 2016 after Cleveland suffered a winning dry spell across all sports. The two carried the Cavaliers to the NBA every year since James returned to the team in 2014. After the Cavs suffered a devastating NBA Finals defeat to Kevin Durant and the super-charged Golden State Warriors in June, Irving seemingly shocked the NBA world and requested a trade from the team.

The All-Star guard had reportedly been unhappy in Cleveland and wanted a bigger role elsewhere. After the team considered multiple trade suitors, the Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics agreed to send Irving to Boston in exchange for All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks. The trade finally launched Aug. 22 after concerns over Thomas’ hip injury.

After remaining mostly mum regarding his trade, Irving suggested he wanted a bigger spotlight and that he was unconcerned about James' feelings.

The internet responded to Irving’s comments regarding James and how the trade unfolded. Some users suggested that Irving was unappreciative and betrayed James after he requested the trade.

Irving seemingly avoided answering certain questions Smith asked on the ESPN sports talk show. During the show, Smith asked: "Are you prepared to deal with — unintentional or not — are you prepared to deal with the distraction that you are going to be just because you're that good and you decided to leave Cleveland and you ended up in Boston?"

Irving replied: "Honestly, Stephen A., I didn't hear anything that was reality-based in all of that. I didn't hear one thing. I heard 'noise.' I heard 'distraction.'"

It appeared the Celtics guard was focused on his happiness and suggested that winning wasn't his only concern. A "truthful" environment is needed to win a championship, Irving added.

"It wasn't about me not wanting to win, it wasn't anything about that," he said. "I want to be extremely, extremely happy in perfecting my craft and that was the only intent I had in all of this."

A price can’t be put on happiness, Irving said.