Kyrie Irving put a summertime of worries to rest with his verbal commitment to re-sign with the Celtics next summer.
But it wasn’t always an automatic, and your worries about the Knicks hovering around Irving were legitimate, as confirmed by Irving’s postgame remarks following Boston’s 103-101 win over the Knicks on Saturday night.
“I mean, every team was under consideration, but obviously New York held a special place for me,” Irving admitted after the win at Madison Square Garden. “Just being from Jersey and, obviously, envisioning myself as a free agent and ultimately taking a meeting and playing for [Knicks head coach David Fizdale] and a great young core that they have here. Thinking about playing with [Kristaps Porzingis]. That was a big thing before I made my decision just to plan on re-signing back with Boston. But yeah of course New York was a strong consideration.”
It’s an undeniably candid and refreshingly honest look into what Irving was factoring into his potential decision to leave the Celtics. And it’s honestly probably one that would have been made more difficult had the Knicks had some sort of commitment from a fellow superstar free agent to be (like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, or even Klay Thompson).
But in the end, what Irving is building with a young Celtics core featuring Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and another lottery pick on the way in the near future — along with a personal connection to Boston — was too much to pass up on for the 26-year-old.
“I think if you were in my position, I think it would be an easy decision,” Irving said of Boston. “Thinking about who we have and the future and what we’re set up for. For me, it was where I am in age and how I envision my career going. And kind of the lineage of guys that have come before me in the Boston Celtics is something I wanted to be a part of. Obviously, my dad and my mom met in Boston, so I had a lot of history there, Obviously, being from New Jersey… history there. But Boston, there’s nothing like it.”