Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks will try to extend their season Monday night when they take on the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics hold a 3-1 series lead, and will be extra motivated to try and finish off this series at home as they try to capture the franchise's 18th championship. It will be a tall task for the Mavericks, and especially Irving, who struggled heavily in the previous two games of this series in Boston. Irving, the ex-Celtic, continually heard boos rained down on him from Celtics fans.

Irving is obviously no stranger to the boos in Boston, as his tenure with the team ended unceremoniously in 2019 after making promises -- like wanting to re-sign with the team and spending the rest of his career there -- that went unfulfilled. Ahead of Game 5, Irving spoke of the oversized expectations that come with putting on that green and white jersey in Boston.

"You just expect to have a magnifying glass on you everywhere you go," Irving said. "I don't think Boston appreciates being kind of second class to New York, in terms of the media capital of the world. But this is a media capital of the world, as well. There's a lot of history here off the court. The community's integrated into the Celtics team, that's probably the best way I can say it. The community is what makes the Celtics great here. The Boston pandemonium, that's what makes this space so loud and so special, and they take pride in it. If any player is coming here getting drafted, or you're thinking about coming here in free agency or getting traded here, I just think do your homework, and make sure you know what you're getting yourself into."

Irving famously requested a trade from the Cavaliers in 2017, just a year after he helped win the franchise's first championship. While Boston wasn't on his initial list of requested teams to be traded to, he ultimately landed with the Celtics. Irving then made it publicly known how much he wanted to play for the team and have his jersey hang from the rafters of TD Garden one day. And while the time spent with Boston was just two years, it was a tumultuous stint.

After trying to leave Cleveland and LeBron James' shadow to forge his own path where he could be the center of attention, Irving was criticized heavily for his poor leadership. While he was a two-time All-Star during his Boston days, the Celtics were actually better when he wasn't playing. During the first year when Irving was hurt prior to the playoffs, the Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference finals. The following year with Irving, they lost in five games in the second round to the Bucks.

Expectations were never met, and amid all the media and fan criticism, Irving decided to join the Nets in 2019 when he became a free agent. Another stop where things didn't quite go as planned. But during the Mavericks run to the NBA Finals, Irving has been open about taking ownership for his past mistakes with both the Celtics and Nets, and while Boston fans likely don't want to hear what he has to say now, at least he realizes now how poorly he handled his time in Boston.