BOSTON (CBS) — There has been a whole lot of chatter about the future of Kyrie Irving.
Listen to the rumors, and the Celtics guard will not be a Celtics guard for much longer. Listen to the rumors, and the New Jersey native will soon be wearing a New York Knicks uniform instead of Celtics green.
But maybe we should just listen to Irving himself. Doing so paints a little bit of a different picture than the one you get from a bunch of yakkers throwing paint against the wall. Irving sounded pretty committed to the Celtics in his sitdown with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan last week, and his tune hadn’t changed when chatting with Celtics.com for a Media Day interview on Monday.
“I don’t want to go with a war of twisted words and, ‘he could have said this, he could have said that.’ Honestly, I’ll leave that to the media, but my job is to really cement myself as the leader of the Boston Celtics along with all of our other great players and really relish in that opportunity,” said Irving, sporting a new hairstyle and a giant smile on Monday. “Obviously it’s everybody else’s job to look forward to my future before I can, so I just really thought it was important to make sure it’s known that this franchise is really built for the next few years of being at the top-tier of teams in the league. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
It certainly sounds like Irving would very much like to be a part of that. He’s even given some thought to having his No. 11 someday take a spot among Boston’s other all-time greats.
“What more could you ask for from an organization to really elevate your game? When you want to be on the same lineage of greatness as the guys that have come before you, there are times where I have thought about having No. 11 in the rafters. Hopefully, one day. That’s a dream,” he said.
But before that dream can come true, Irving has to do some spectacular things in a Boston uniform. His first season with the C’s was cut short when Irving needed a procedure done on his right knee, and he’s eager and ready to go with a fully healthy Celtics squad in 2018-19. But all of that is just normal lip service just about every player expounds on media day.
What’s more telling about Irving’s feelings about Boston is the fact that he’s comfortable for the first time in his career. Throughout his career in Cleveland, and even his first year in Boston, Irving had to answer questions centered around his relationship with LeBron James, or why he no longer wanted to be part of a relationship with LeBron James. Things are much, much different now, and so is Irving.
“I’m just appreciative of the opportunity to finally be comfortable. That’s the biggest thing,” he said. “I’m happy.”
Chatter about Irving’s future is not going to go away this season. But so far, from everything that Irving himself is saying, it’s hard to picture him leaving a great situation in Boston.