Did ex-Celtic Kyrie Irving want out of Boston back in December?
According to Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, he likely did.
“The first time he reached out was maybe like December in terms of just loosely talking about it,” Dinwiddie told The Athletic’s Shams Charania on the “Back to Back” podcast, as transcribed by SB Nation’s Nets Daily. “He was obviously still super focused on his season and everything. But you could tell from his conversation that it was on his mind and obviously free agency was coming up and that’s kinda what it was. Just asking a friend about his current situation what he thought.”
Irving recently agreed to a four-year, $141 million deal with the Nets, departing Boston after two seasons with the Celtics. It wasn’t the prettiest divorce either, with Irving delivering some parting blows before joining his new squad.
After bonding with Irving throughout 2018, Dinwiddie says the ex-Celtic “loosely” discussed free agency back in December, although he didn’t believe it to be too serious at the time. Dinwiddie says Irving repeatedly told him, “New York might be fun next year,” but wasn’t sure if Irving was talking about the Nets or the New York Knicks.
He knew something was up.
“When he made that comment (about New York), obviously by that point, things had changed,” he told Charania. “… Something happened.”
In fact, Dinwiddie believes there’s a special reason for Irving selecting the Nets as his next destination.
“Kyrie very much identifies as a New Jersey kid,” he said. “This is not something fabricated for the purpose of the story. He was saying things like, ‘I’m really from New Jersey.‘ With all these comments, (I thought) we got a shot. This isn’t like the Knicks or nothing.”
Seems like the writing was on the wall for a while there, but it’s not like Celtics fans couldn’t sense the change coming. Things between Irving and the Celtics appeared rocky for quite some time, so this move was anything but unpredictable.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images