Posted on October 05, 2018, by Travis Pulver
Kyrie Irving is one of the best young players in the NBA today. So, when he was noncommittal earlier in the offseason about returning to Boston, it made fans nervous. Yes, the roster is packed with talent and would still be formidable without him. But it is better with him.
As it turns out, fans are not going to have to say good bye after all.
The Celtics had an event for season ticket-holders Thursday night at TD Garden. During it, Irving shared some news:
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“I’ve shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization as well as everyone else in Boston. If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year.”
Last month he gave the strongest indication of his desire to return in an ESPN article:
“Who wouldn’t be a part of this? Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and Al Horford and Gordon Hayward? People keep saying, ‘Why won’t he commit to Boston?’
“Well, there are financial implications involved.”
Expecting him to sign an extension when he has a year left was completely unreasonable. Yes, the financial security is nice. The team would love to know they have him under contract and it would be easier to plan for the future.
But can he be blamed for wanting to wait another year and not leave about $80 million on the table? Of course not!
Then again, there was also the Jimmy Butler rumors that gave fans some concern. Friends have teamed up before and the Knicks and the New York market are an enticing organization to many young players. But according to Irving, the only conversation he had with Butler on the subject at length was at a USA basketball—back in 2016.
The drama around Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves has helped keep the rumors alive. But it sounds like they were created more by an ambitious writer and driven by fan paranoia. Of course, Irving could have put all the rumors to rest months ago and could have kept many from ever starting.
If he had made his intentions known back when people started asking him about them. But he didn’t want to, so he didn’t—and that is entirely his right. However, in the 24/7 news cycle that we live in now, people want to know everything now. Patience is not something the general public has been known for.
His desire to stay in Boston is not the only bombshell Irving dropped this week. On Monday, he apologized to science teachers for saying the Earth is flat:
“To all the science teachers, everybody coming up to me like, `You know I’ve got to reteach my whole curriculum?’ I’m sorry. I apologize. I apologize.”
He explained the comment by saying that he was really into conspiracy theories at the time.
So—there you have it basketball fans. The world is not flat, and Kyrie Irving is staying in Boston. All is right in the world once again.