In hindsight, it should come as no surprise that Kyrie Irving left the Boston Celtics to team up with Kevin Durant on the Brooklyn Nets.
It turns out, the mercurial superstar guard hated Boston even more than he has let on in the last couple of years.
Irving and Durant are the subject of a new book by Matt Sullivan titled “Can’t Knock The Hustle,” which looks at how the two superstars forged their paths together to land in Brooklyn.
In an excerpt on FOX Sports’ website Thursday, Sullivan details a hangout for the duo back in 2019 when Irving was still playing for the Celtics. According to the book, Durant — then with the Golden State Warriors — visited Irving at his Weston, Mass., home when the Warriors were in town.
At that point, Sullivan noted, Irving had grown irritated by his entire situation in Boston: ” … nothing could stop Kyrie from getting what he wanted, which was to move the hell out.”
By then, Irving had started to “(chart) a path home” to the Nets, and the night with Durant was a way to sell him on the process, especially as Durant grew increasingly fed up with a cushy situation at Golden State.
“Controlling miniature versions of themselves and their teammates (in a video game), like marionettes, they wondered how else they could string together a team that was going somewhere. ‘And from that point,’ Kyrie said, ‘we took the power back and put it in our hands.'”
Coincidentally, it was a month later a reporter caught Irving and Durant chatting at the All-Star Game, with many speculating they were talking about teaming up.
But Sullivan’s reporting — as it pertains to Irving’s discontent with the city of Boston — isn’t limited to that anecdote. Irving’s friend, Brett Carroll, told Sullivan that Boston’s checkered history with racism is a reason he eventually wanted out.
“He also realized, ‘Wait a minute: I’m trying to champion Boston, but now that I’m looking at the history of Boston, is this a city I want to champion? In terms of their racial history and stuff like that ? is Boston the type of place I want to represent?'”
That certainly adds some more context to Irving’s quips about Boston’s “subtle racism” following Game 2 of Brookyln’s first-round series with the Celtics earlier this spring.