Why Danny Ainge Believes Kyrie Irving Shares ‘Threads’ With Larry Bird

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Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving

Photo via Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports Images

Is Kyrie Irving the next great Boston Celtic? Maybe. But is he the next Larry Bird?

Irving has played lights-out in his first season in Boston, and might even be considered for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award at season’s end. And while Irving’s style of play isn’t very similar to Bird’s, his personality might be comparable to Larry Legend’s, according to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

“Danny Ainge, for his part, likens Irving to Larry Bird, who, depending on the situation, could be introverted or extroverted,” ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan wrote in a lengthy piece published Wednesday. “Bird diverted attention if he felt too suffocated by the adulation, but he also embraced the limelight when the game was on the line and the ball was in his hands.”

“Those are threads Larry and Kyrie share,” Ainge told MacMullan.

Still just 25 years old, Irving hasn’t fully discovered who he is as a leader.

“When he got here, we talked about all the good things and not-so-good things Kyrie has done, who he wants to emulate, how he wants to be different than he was as a young player,” Ainge told MacMullan.

Listen, comparing Irving to Bird really is unfair to the former and disingenuous to the latter. However, when you’re as talented as Irving is, getting mentioned among NBA legends is unavoidable.

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