Knicks fans are sick because Kyrie Irving announced that he’ll be returning to the Celtics next season for the second time in two weeks.
“If you guys will have me, I plan on re-signing next year,” Irving said at a Celtics fan event.
Knicks fans, look away Celtics fans... Kyrie Irving just announced he's staying long-term! https://t.co/Uj1ITXgvjV
It's the second time in the last few weeks that Kyrie had to affirm his desire to be in Boston. In a late September interview, ESPN's Rachel Nichols pressed Kyrie about his plans for 2019 free agency.
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."
Regardless of how many times he says he's staying, we know that the Celtics are stocking draft picks, and next summer Anthony Davis becomes a viable trade piece. We also know that the Celtics have a hoard of young talent and there’s no guarantee that Kyrie fits into Danny Ainge’s long-term plans.
Kyrie’s injury history and his age are factors, especially when you have young, rising stallions waiting in the wings that cost less money and will be demanding huge contracts shortly.
So hold your horses on jumping off the bridge Knicks fans. Kyrie is saying the right things, but nothing is written in stone. You can’t predict how the season will shake out, what kind of next leap Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown will take and how expendable or invaluable Kyrie will be at season’s end.
We also don’t know if the Celtics want to invest big money in him as the centerpiece of a potential Eastern Conference dynasty. So, Kyrie’s announcement doesn’t mean the Knicks have no chance of signing him in free agency. It’s his way of regaining the love and trust of a Celtics fan base that has only seen him play in 60 games.
The door is still wide open for Kyrie Irving to be playing somewhere else next year. Paul George was 100% certain he was going to sign in LA when he hit free agency. He told the whole world. Things change in 9 months." - @getnickwright https://t.co/HJPyRCthOV
It's his way of reassuring them that he is part of the puzzle and wants to be down with the Green Machine. It’s proper business, because we know that he makes decisions for different reasons than most players. It shocked folks when Kyrie bounced from Cleveland to be his own man after winning a chip and living in the NBA finals with King James.
These things usually tend to play themselves out. The Celtics have a ton of questions that need to be answered this season as far as how Brad Stevens is going to distribute these minutes. Kyrie already showed you he will only play the good boy scout role for a minute. He wants the ball in his mitts when it's go time.
Kyrie Irving tells @celtics fans he plans on re-signing with Boston ☘️ https://t.co/i2EmoP0C7H
So don’t give up hope yet Knicks fans. Kyrie's just conducting proper business protocol and keeping the Boston fans on his side. Irving is in the midst of a season with huge expectations and winning a championship requires his full dedication. It’s a long journey from now until July 2019 free agency.