In an NBA where almost nobody allows themselves to get settled in one city for anything beyond their current contract, it’s never too early to worry about a superstar leaving town. Especially when that town is not exactly known as a tropical paradise.
But Celtics fans can happily read into the language and wording C’s superstar guard Kyrie Irving chose to use during a Friday appearance on ESPN’s The Jump.
Asked about the possibility of Gordon Hayward returning to the Celtics this season, Irving recognized the ‘set up’ from Rachel Nichols before jumping into his answer.
“For me, I’ve been in the position of trying to come back early or do things. And us as professionals, our competitive spirit can get in the way of just feeling pressure and guilt of wanting to be out there,” Irving said of Hayward’s comeback. “I just want Gordon to do what’s best for him, and that’s as simple as I can put it. I don’t want him to rush back.
“We need him for years to come. It would be great if he came back this year. Hell, I miss him so much. He knows that. But I just want him to do what’s best for him.”
(Irving’s latter point — “for years to come” — is where you can find the juice, by the way.)
Oh, what a beautiful quote I’m more than pleased to read into, even if the logical side of my brain is realizing the PR implications of Irving saying literally anything else.
Irving has obviously done nothing to hide his wants and wishes to be playing with Hayward, injured in the opening five minutes of the season opener and officially-but-not-quite-officially ruled out of the rest of the season, right now. In fact, he opined about Hayward’s absence just a few weeks back, saying he’s found himself imagining what their rotations would look like with Hayward at their disposal.
So quotes like that — with the 2018-19 season looking like the C’s first ‘real’ run with their new Big Three of Irving, Hayward, and Al Horford — are not exactly surprising.
But it’s important to read and hear that kind of verbal commitment from Irving, currently the third-highest paid Celtic at just under $19 million per season, given the fact has the ability to opt out after the 2018-19 season. Soundbites like that could go a long way towards Celtics president Danny Ainge breathing a sight of relief and allowing himself to buy into the idea of Irving committing to a long-term extension with the Celtics as a one-two punch with Hayward (signed to a max deal through 2021).
It would not be shocking to see Irving stay with the Celtics on a long-term deal, of course, as that was something that was originally reported when Irving was acquired from the Cavaliers last August, and with the results speaking for themselves thus far.
In addition to the East’s second best record and All-Star starter nods, the 25-year-old Irving has enjoyed success as the C’s obvious MVP, with 24.7 points per game (second-highest of his career) and a career-best 48.6 field goal percentage this season.
Full article @ Kyrie Irving gives encouraging quote about future in Boston
Source: GreenStreet Blog