Before the Celtics ever got the opportunity to field their All-Star backcourt of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving last season, Hayward went down with a knee injury in the first game. Then Irving missed the playoffs.
2018 took on another life form as Bostons young guns stepped up in the absence of two cornerstone franchise players and almost pushed the Celtics to an NBA Finals.
With the excitement generated by the arrival of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, plus the wealth of future draft picks the Celtics have and Kyries refusal to commit publicly to remaining with the Celtics after 2018, the social media moshpit and rumor mill took flight this summer and Irvings name has been mentioned in possible trades and every 2019 free agent scenario that can be imagined, many involving a possible union with Jimmy Butler.
Now that the 2018-19 season is officially starting, Irving in an interview with Rachel Nichols sat alongside his backcourt mate and executed some damage control, ensuring everyone that for now, he is gravy in Boston and looking forward to playing with the strong cast that they’ve assembled in a decade.
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.”
Nichols straight up asked Irving if he was going to resign in Boston and again he was noncommittal (you have to respect his business gangster) but said hes enjoying his time with the Celtics and isnt thinking about the next destination at this point.
It will be great to see both of these guys healthy and on the court together when the Celtics play their first preseason game against Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets on Friday. Hayward says he cant wait. As for Irving, his future will become a clearer situation as the season progresses. For now, hes focused on making it happen in Boston.