Kyrie Irving is apparently too focused on the present to worry about his future with the Boston Celtics.
The focal point of Boston’s game this past season, in which they won 55 games (the most by any Brad Stevens-coached C’s squad), the 26-year-old Irving sat down with Sopan Deb of the New York Times to discuss a variety of topics, from ‘Uncle Drew’ to whether or not he truly believes that the earth is flat. But Deb also brought up Kyrie’s contract situation.
With Kyrie having the ability to opt out of his contract in 2019, Deb asked if he was simply taking it ‘year by year’ in Boston.
DELETED SCENES: Asked Kyrie Irving if he sees himself as Celtic long term. pic.twitter.com/VasLSG2PHP— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 9, 2018
“Well, I mean I know that question is going to come up a lot over the next year, just based upon where my deal is,” Irving said via Deb’s screenshot linked above. “And, you know, that time will arise and when it does, I think I’ll have a better, clear, concise answer for a lot of people that are going to ask. Yeah, I just have to take it as being present with the Boston Celtics.”
This can’t exactly be what you want to hear if you’re the Celtics, who are reportedly afraid of Irving bolting in 2019, and doesn’t give a ringing endorsement after a 2017-18 season that saw Irving shoot a career-best 49.1 percent from the field. While Irving is often too reality-based for his own good, this could also be some gamesmanship on the part of No. 11 in a week that’s seen LeBron James reportedly linked to the Celtics, a player with whom Irving obviously wants nothing to do with as a teammate.
It’s worth noting that next year will be Irving’s first real season with Gordon Hayward at his disposal. And that kind of additional offensive boost can do a lot to assure Irving that he can win — and win a lot — under Stevens and the Celtics.
“[I’m] just going into this year with the mindset of trying to win a championship,” said Irving.