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Former Celtics star Kevin Garnett said Tuesday that he is not surprised that Kyrie Irving left Boston to sign with the Nets, because he doesn’t have the mental makeup needed to thrive in the city.

“Boston’s a tough town, dog,” Garnett told reporters in New York while promoting “Uncut Gems,” his new film starring Adam Sandler. “You got to want that. The people want it for you. That’s why Paul [Pierce] is perfect for it. Paul wants the shot every time. Like, ‘You’re 0 for 14.’ And he’s like, ‘I know, but they want it.’ ”

In October 2018, Irving told a large group of Celtics season ticket-holders that he intended to re-sign with Boston at season’s end. But then the season went sour, and just over one month after the Celtics were defeated by the Bucks in five games in the conference semifinals, Irving agreed to a four-year deal with the Nets.

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He missed Brooklyn’s two games against the Celtics last week because he is sidelined with a shoulder injury, but when the Nets came to Boston last Wednesday, the night was filled with anti-Irving chants anyway.


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.