The Boston Celtics’ recent playoff run certainly was a fascinating one, but with that came a trip to fantasyland for a pocket of fans.
Given the solid performances of players like Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum, so came the theory that maybe the Celtics don’t need Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward after all.
Of course, that notion always was absolute lunacy, and periodically throughout the spring, it was apparent that maybe the Celtics actually would benefit from having Irving and Hayward on their roster next season.
Because of that, Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge voiced support of the two players shortly after the season ended. And during an appearance on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe” on Friday, Ainge pointedly reiterated the importance of both Hayward and Irving.
“I still remember very clearly why we were so excited to get Kyrie,” Ainge said. “Isn’t it amazing how some people just forget how Kyrie was just earlier this year in the 60 games he played for us? And how great Gordon was last year on a 51-win team? How he scored 40 points in a playoff game against the Clippers and helped win that series.
“I understand people have short memories, but I certainly don’t,” Ainge continued. “I’m really excited about Gordon and Kyrie. Even though the injury happened to Gordon this year, watching him work and seeing his determination and commitment to excellence, I’m really excited for him this upcoming year.”
Though the Celtics’ season ended in disappointment, the future — especially the immediate future — is quite bright. And once Hayward and Irving return, things almost certainly will get even better for Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports