Celtics President Danny Ainge doesn’t think Kyrie Irving lied about returning to team in free agency

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Boston Celtics fans may still have a sour taste in their mouth for Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving nearly two years after his departure from the team in free agency to team up with superstar forward Kevin Durant in Brooklyn, but it’s since become clear that distaste is not shared by his former teammates, regardless of some of the narratives that surrounded his exit.

And his former Team President Danny Ainge threw some more water on that particular ember still glowering in the minds of some fans in a recent interview with the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy. Specifically, Ainge pushed back against the notion that Irving was never sincere when he said he wanted to return to the team near the start of the 2018-19 season.

“I don’t think that’s true,” he suggested.

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"I think that people change their minds," added Ainge. "I don’t think he had some master plan for doing that. I don’t think it was preconceived." "Life happens," he offered. "Life changes. I’m not going to get in and try to read his mind. I had talks with Kyrie, and I enjoyed those talks. I thought he shared a lot he didn’t have to share, and I respect him and I like him." https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1396155965016317961?s=20

"Just like we can’t control the commentary that the Boston fans have on every one of us, we can’t control any of those things," opined the Celtics President, alluding to some increasingly unfriendly narratives concerning the team he oversees and his front office after an underwhelming season.

"All I can do is control my own [commentary], and I will be very respectful of Kyrie always and grateful that he came to Boston and tried to make it work. No grudges, no second-guessing. I just wish him well. He was a player that came through this organization."

"I appreciate how talented he was, how much he wanted to win, and I’m grateful for the experience to get to know him," finished Ainge. https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1396124553265532928?s=20

Irving is a complicated character whose leadership skills were clearly not fully formed, and perhaps he was overly sensitive to the harsh light and high expectations of the Boston-area media and fanbase. But the lingering distaste for the now-Nets star can often seem overbearing and a way for fans to vent their frustration over the not-infrequent missteps and setbacks the organization has suffered since. It may be wishful thinking, but perhaps this series -- however it goes -- will finally put that irksome animosity to bed -- or at least for a nap. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=50920,50917,50911,50847] [listicle id=50861]

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