It’s no surprise the Boston Celtics did not have the season many expected them to have. They often faced struggles along the way, and Kyrie Irving was in the spotlight for a plethora of negative reasons this year.
The point guard verbally agreed to re-sign with the C’s after this season, but hasn’t said much to back it up since then. Since thn, Irving has called out his younger teammates in frustration, shown his frustrations on the court (see loss to Orlando Magic on Jan. 12). He’s also called LeBron James to apologize for his actions when the two were teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Even though the postseason is two days away, there still are many questions surrounding Irving and his future in green. But if you ask Danny Ainge, the C’s plan on having their point guard back next year and beyond.
“Yes,” the president of basketball operations said when asked if the team still wants to sign Irving to a long-term deal, per Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix.
Ainge added he doesn’t believe it’s all the free agency talk that’s been taking a toll on Irving.
“I don’t think free agency is wearing on him,” he said. “I think that not being able to live up to expectations as a team is wearing on him more than that. But I feel like he’s in a good place. And ending the season and starting the playoffs I feel like his mind is in a fresher place than it was a few weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to great things with Kyrie.”
Ainge and Celtics fans alike are looking forward to seeing Irving in the playoffs considering he missed all of last year’s postseason after undergoing knee surgery. And if Irving’s mind really is in a “fresher place” as Ainge says it is, that could spell bad news for the Pacers.
Game 1 at TD Garden is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images