The Celtics’ time is now and the foreseeable future if their young, talented core remains healthy and intact.
While only injury would appear to have the power to derail the team’s prospects as Eastern Conference contenders this season, what lies beyond is already a topic of conversation, particularly in terms of Irving.
Does Kyrie Irving want to stay in Boston?
The talented, mercurial 26-year-old point guard’s pending 2019 free agency is the biggest wild card for the Celtics’ future, with the rival New York Knicks a hotly rumored destination.
But if you listened to Irving on Wednesday, he would have to be a fool to leave Boston. He said as much in a sit-down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols while sitting next to Hayward.
You know all the talk about Kyrie Irving as one of the elite free agents available next summer? Not so fast. Here's what he told me: "Even if I ever try to think about that thought of going elsewhere, it would be like 'what are you thinking? We're pretty f-ing good here." pic.twitter.com/QEM4XMDvWM
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) September 26, 2018
Irving: ‘We’re pretty effing good here’
“Who wouldn’t want to be part of [the Celtics], honestly,” Irving said. “Because the future is very very bright in Boston. Even if I ever tried to think about that thought of going elsewhere, it’d be like ‘what are you thinking?
“We’re pretty effing good here. We’re pretty effing good for not just this year, but for years to come.”
He’s right. There’s every basketball reason in the world for Irving to stay in Boston. With a core that looks poised to peak around the eventual, inevitable decline of the Golden State Warriors, these Celtics have abundant championship potential. Winning titles in Boston is the stuff of NBA legends.
Irving has shunned an ‘effing good’ team before
But this is Irving we’re talking about. He forced a trade from a championship Cleveland Cavaliers team because he didn’t like playing with the greatest player of his generation. That Cavs team was also pretty effing good.
This is also the man whose calling-card off the court is his insistence that Earth is flat. Whether he actually believes that or just enjoys playing the part of troll, it’s an issues that reinforces Irving’s reputation as an unconventional thinker.
Also, he was setting next to Hayward on the precipice of the preseason while wearing a Celtics jersey when Nichols probed him about his future. He might not always come up with the expected answer. But seriously, what else is he going to say there?
Irving’s followup answer not as pointed
Nichols, acting as the astute reporter that she is, pressed Irving when he gave his Boston-is-great answer, pointing out that he was implying a long-term future with the team.
His response to that followup entailed a whole lot of deflection and nothing else.
“It is what it is, honestly,” Irving said. “I think that I’m comfortable in the position I’m in. They know how I feel about them as teammates and the organization in general. I’m happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait for it.”
Good talk, Kyrie.
Celtics fans are excited, and they have every right to be. But until and if Irving signs a long-term extension in Boston, his future with the team is an issue that will linger.
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