Danny Ainge seemingly was surprised by what he heard from Kyrie Irving on Tuesday night.
Irving, following the Nets’ Game 2 blowout win over the Celtics, was asked about his return to Boston as the Atlantic Division rivals’ first-round NBA playoffs series shifts to TD Garden. The star point guard expressed hope that there would be no “subtle racism” vocalized by C’s fans and noted he’s not the only player who can attest to hearing such remarks in Boston.
Ainge, who traded for Irving in July of 2017, addressed the seven-time All-Star’s comments Thursday during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.”
“I think that we take those kind of things seriously,” Ainge said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg. “I never heard any of that, from any player that I?ve ever played with in my 26 years in Boston. I never heard that before from Kyrie and I talked to him quite a bit.”
Ainge also touched on the potential impact Irving’s remarks could have on the Celtics organization.
“I think that everybody’s influencing somebody,” Ainge said, as transcribed by 98.5 The Sports Hub. “So yeah, I think that there’s — my fear is that could possibly happen. But I think that our players, and players that have played here in the past, all have their experiences to share, and that’s just one player.”
Irving and the Nets can put the Celtics on the brink of elimination with a win Friday night.