Kyrie Irving entered the 2018-19 NBA season, believing that the Boston Celtics have what it takes to fully dominate the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference and win the NBA championship title. Irving’s excitement made him commit to re-signing with the Celtics in 2019 NBA free agency. However, things have dramatically changed since the season officially started.
After the Celtics failed to live up to expectations and struggled to consistently win games, Kyrie Irving has a change of heart and said that he’ll keep his options open next summer. Also, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer revealed that the All-Star point guard has become “disengaged and detached” from the Celtics since the rumors that he will be signing with the New York Knicks in free agency heat up.
“Sources around the team told me that Irving’s persona has changed, too: He’s become disengaged and detached from those around the team. There is talk that Irving’s friendships on the team start and end with Tatum, with whom he shares an agent. Two sources peg Irving’s change in demeanor to early February, around the time he was asked about the possibility of joining the New York Knicks next season.”
The Knicks are one of the few NBA teams in the league who could offer Kyrie Irving a max contract and pair him with another incoming free agent superstar. During the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, Irving was caught having a conversation with Kevin Durant, creating the speculations that they could be planning to play together in New York.
— WBZ Boston Sports (@wbzsports) March 4, 2019
As of now, Kyrie Irving is clearly unhappy with the Celtics. Whenever they struggle and lose games, Irving always has something to say about the Celtics’ inconsistencies whether it’s their defense, offense, or both. There were also instances when he called out his young teammates, questioning their maturity and determination to win an NBA championship title.
When Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returned from injury, the Celtics emerged as the heavy favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals 2019. However, inserting both superstars in the starting lineup without affecting the effectiveness of young players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier proved to be a tough task for Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens. Stevens is still in experimental mode and yet to figure out the right combination of players that can help them consistently win games.
Despite their recent struggle, Kyrie Irving and the Celtics remain very optimistic about their capability to make a deep playoff run this season. If the Celtics fail to at least enter the Eastern Conference Finals, it is highly likely that Irving will consider entertaining offers from other NBA teams next July.