After a viral cell phone video, taken inside the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, during NBA All Star weekend as the Inquisitr reported, was widely interpreted as showing Irving and Golden State Warriors All Star Kevin Durant discussing the possibility of joining the New York Knicks in free agency this summer, Irving spoke out to reporters about the video.
The video, according to fans who saw it, as covered by Bleacher Report, showed Irving attempting to recruit Durant into signing with the Knicks as free agent after the current season, at one point holding up two fingers to indicate — at least according to the fans’ online interpretation — the two “max” contract slots available on the Knicks roster, just enough for Irving and Durant.
In a discussion with reporters on Wednesday, the Boston Celtics All Star denied that he and Durant were talking about their free agent futures in the video, according to Celtics beat reporter Jay King on Twitter. But the 26-year-old Irving’s denial was not a strong one, and never addressed the topic of the conversation in the video directly.
“It’s a video of me and one of my best friends talking. And then it turns out to be a dissection of a free agency meeting? Do you get that? Like, do you get that? And then I’m asked questions about that? That’s what disconnects me from all that s***,” Irving said, as quoted by King.
KD: how many max slots do the Knicks have?— Dan Favale (@danfavale) February 18, 2019
In a separate interview on Wednesday, speaking to ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, Irving complained that media speculation about topics such as player free agency “has broken up locker rooms,” according to the New England Sports Network.
“You know, I’ve worked my way to get here and, honestly, all that goes with the free agent talk is really a distraction. A lot of people don’t realize on the outside that a lot of things that are said get into locker rooms,” Irving told the ESPN reporter, as quoted by NESN. “It’s a unique position, but I’m appreciative and understanding now. It’s fun, but at the same time, goodness it’s energy taxing.”
But to King, per his Twitter account, Irving griped that the media’s free agency speculation “doesn’t make the league fun. Nobody helps promote the league even more by doing bulls*** like that.”
Before the current season got underway, Irving — whose contract expires on July 1 — told Celtics fans that he planned to stay with the team into the future. But when asked on February 1 of this year whether his pre-season pledge was still good, Irving replied, “Ask me July 1. I’m just going to do what’s best for me,” according to the New York Post.