As free agency approaches, Irving has “ghosted” the Celtics and it begins to look more and more bleak as far as the prospects that the star guard could return. On Friday, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan appeared on the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast and said that Irving “didn’t like” Boston in addition to having issues with Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge.
“Kyrie Irving didn’t like Boston,” MacMullan said. “I’ve been told this by many people. He didn’t like living in Boston. He just didn’t. By the end, he had issues with Brad [Stevens]. By the end, he had issues with Danny [Ainge]. By the end, he had issues with pretty much all of us.”
It’s certainly been an interesting offseason for Irving to say the least. Irving elected to opt out of his $21.3 million contract for the 2019-20 season and also parted ways with longtime agent Jeff Wechsler. In addition, Irving signed with Roc Nation Sports, which is the sports management company that is owned by hip-hop artist Jay-Z.
Irving signing with Roc Nation Sports obviously leads to intense speculation that he could land with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.
It’s also long been expected that Irving would opt out of his deal for next season despite making an announcement at the start of the 2018-19 campaign that he was going to remain in Boston for the long haul. Back in February, he told reporters he didn’t “owe anybody s—” heading into free agency and urged reporters to hold all free agency questions for the summer.
The talented guard has spent the last two seasons with the Celtics after the franchise acquired him from the Cleveland Cavaliers. In two seasons in Boston, Irving put together averages of 24.1 points, 6.1 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 40.4 percent from three.
Irving and the Celtics saw their season come to a close when they were eliminated by the Bucks in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Celtics came away with a win in Game 1, but ended up losing four consecutive games to cap off a disappointing season.
Irving has a huge decision to make in the coming days, but considering that he didn’t look at his tenure in Boston very fondly, it’s probably a safe bet to assume that he won’t be re-signing with the Celtics.